It would be hard to find an Israeli mayor, the head of a Jewish federation or family foundation who has not been involved in a project with Yitzchak “Itzik” Shavit during the last three decades. There are similarly few Israeli towns or regional councils with a library, school, cultural center, or kindergarten not adorning a donor plaque initiated by Shavit, leading to an estimation that he has personally raised over half a billion dollars towards building the State of Israel.
A few months ago, some of the people who have shared in his incredible work decided that it was long overdue time to show some appreciation to Itzik for his lifelong achievement. The result is a brand new hi-tech fortified comprehensive school in Shaar HaNegev, at advanced stages of construction, will be named in his honor. Over twenty foundations and individuals have pledged funding for the high school. The fundraising will continue until the opening of the doors in September 2011.
Alon Schuster, the mayor of the Regional Council of Shaar HaNegev who spearheaded the project, said that “the entire Sapir College and community would not exist if it were not for Itzik. Through his fundraising, Shavit has effectively put Shaar HaNegev on the map of Israel. Hamas and their kassam missiles try to eradicate our region and Itzik gives us life. There is no more appropriate location or project to let Itzik know how important his work is to the country of Israel.”
Shavit himself reacted in a characteristically modest fashion saying that he was moved but embarrassed by the gesture. The school is scheduled to open its doors in September for the new academic year.
For additional information on this project email: ejewishphilanthropy [at] gmail [dot] com