On May 26, Israel Elwyn and the Bnai Zion Foundation celebrated the dedication of The George and Irina Schaeffer Cultural Center at Israel Elwyn’s Supported Living Services in Jerusalem. The Center provides cultural, recreational, and employment resources for people with disabilities. The spacious central hall will provide a venue for the residents to celebrate holidays and other festive occasions and attend cultural performances, concerts, movies, lectures, and professional trainings. The renovated building also has smaller activity rooms to be used for a wide variety of activities.
Presiding over the ceremony was David B. Marcu, CEO of Israel Elwyn. Other speakers included Cheryl Bier, Executive Vice President of Bnai Zion; Marick Shifris, a resident of Israel Elwyn’s Supported Living Services; Vered Fraiman, representing the parents of the residents; Hila Yedid, Director of External Relations, Funds Department, National Insurance Institute; and Nachum Ido, Director, Supported Living Services, Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Social Services. This was followed by moving words from donor George Schaeffer, who attended the ceremony with his daughter, Nicole Schaeffer. Following the ceremony, guests remained for light refreshments and a chance to see the George and Irina Schaeffer Cultural Center up close.
On the same day, the city of Ma’ale Adumim hosted the dedication of The George and Irina Schaeffer Bnai Zion Foundation Regional Communities Support Center, which will provide a resource room and after school programs for children with special needs. The Center will also house the city’s Ashkenazi Synagogue.
George and Nicole Schaeffer were both in attendance at the ceremony. Rabbi Joshua Katz of Ma’ale Adumim assisted in the ribbon cutting ceremony, and City dignitaries, including the Hon. Mayor of Ma’ale Adumim, Benny Kashriel, and Deputy Mayors Guy Yifrach and Boris Grossman, were in attendance. Representing Bnai Zion were Cheryl Bier, Executive Vice President of the Bnai Zion Foundation, and her husband, Paul Bier. Mati Kaufman represented the Ashkenazi Synagogue and its members.
At the ceremony, Mr. Schaeffer spoke emotionally of his love for and connection to the city of Ma’ale Adumim. He spoke of himself as “a simple Jew who is blessed in giving a gift to assist the education, hope, and peace of children in need.”
Mayor Kashriel thanked the Schaeffers from the bottom of his heart. He expressed confidence that Mr. Schaeffer, his friend and a great philanthropist, and Mrs. Bier will continue their strong support for Ma’ale Adumim’s children, community, and synagogue.