News from Pardes Katz

by | Apr 26, 2012 | Other News

Tal Markowich, youth director at the Matnas, has written about a very special project they have been working on in the youth department. Developed in cooperation between the Pardes Katz community and BMC Software, the project provides one-on-one tutoring for 13 seventh and eighth graders of the local “remez” (middle school). BMC is a multinational high tech company with corporate headquarters in Houston, Texas and an office in Tel Aviv.
All activities take place at BMC’s offices, which in itself provides an exciting and enriching experience for the children. BMC provides transportation and a warm meal for the kids, in addition to tutoring and helping with their homework. The environment is a source of inspiration to the children and considerable prestige is associated with the project.
Two of the Matnas’ counselors accompany the children, and in addition to serving as a point of contact between the children, the volunteers at BMC and the middle school follow up and supervise the students’ achievements outside the project. The improvement in academic achievement affects their self-esteem, confidence, and willingness to keep on striving.
Every six weeks or so, the students and volunteers hold a social gathering which strengthens their ties to each other. At Purim, the kids were invited to BMC’s company party.
I was taken to BMC’s offices several years ago, before BMC became so successful (more than $2 billion in sales annually) and it is gratifying to see the early efforts become productive.
In the coming year, the Matnas will try to expand the program and make it available to more children of the Pardes Katz community. One of my objectives when I visit this fall will be to try to engage other high tech firms in the area to get involved with the Matnas.
Orly Bar Okay, volunteer chair of the annual food fair, reports that this year, as every year, all parts of the Matnas participated in the experience: the children, youth and older people. Each group prepared special traditional foods and set up stands for the welfare of the community. The money raised from the sale of food is used to fund the programs of each group.
Pardes Katz residents, mothers with small children, teenagers, adults and seniors came in large numbers and were greeted by rhythmic music and colorful stalls selling chocolate candy, candy skewers, yogurt with granola, hot dogs, fries, hot corn and different kinds of prepared rice to eat and take home—and all at reasonable prices.
A lot was eaten at the fair, and a lot was taken home. It was a delicious experience.
Pardes Katz is a recipient of funds from United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.

by Hal Sacks