Donor Stories - AMIT

Donor Stories

AMIT supporters come from all over the world.
Everyone is special. Every reason is unique. Here are just some of the many stories about their passion for providing access to high-quality Jewish values-based education to ensure a strong Jewish future for Israel.

Share with us your story!

Shining a Spotlight on Anne & Sheldon G.

AMIT and Israel are both very important to Anne and Shelly Golombeck. Over the past several years, a visit to Israel hasn’t been complete for them without incorporating a visit to an AMIT school. Anne and Shelly have attended as well as co-chaired missions to Israel. Here in the States, they look forward to annually hosting AMIT staff, educators, and students at their house. Anne previously served on the NewGen Board. For the past five years, they have enjoyed co-chairing the Broadway Fantasy Camp AMIT event.

Shining a Spotlight on Ethlynne & Steve B.

Ethlynne was was a longtime member of the B’nei Akiva youth movement, participating in a leadership course in Israel in 1969—’70 and continuing as a youth movement leader for a number of years. In 1974, she moved in with her married sister in Johannesburg and within a week met Steve. The rest is history! After they were married, Steve who was in real estate at the time, switched to the wholesale jewelry business where Ethlynne joined him while raising their two children.

Steve was born in Portland, Maine. After graduating Northeastern University in 1968, Steve was drafted into the U.S. Army at the height of the Vietnam War. Steve served in the army in several U.S. locations as well as in Korea. He was honorably discharged in 1970 and then moved to Johannesburg where his mother, a native of South Africa, had re-settled. While en route to South Africa, Steve visited Israel for the first time, an experience which left a lasting impression. Ethlynne has served as co-president of the AMIT New England Council/Ra’anana Chapter for many years.

Every school we have visited on our multiple missions makes us proud of the enormous impact the network and faculty have had on our children.

Shining a Spotlight on Peyton K.

Peyton became involved with AMIT through her childhood friend, Elana Loeffler Grauer, who helped create AFLI (AMIT Future Leaders Initiative) upon her return from Midreshet AMIT. Peyton is an active member of AMIT’s Young Leadership Board and represents AMIT on the Conference of Presidents’ Young Professionals Council.

Peyton is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Bank Street College of Education. She currently works as a child-life specialist at Hospital for Special Surgery.

She has two brothers, Joseph and Jacob. Jacob currently serves on the AFLI Board.

Shining a Spotlight on Debra S.

Debra is currently principal of Debra G. Speyer Law, which has offices in three different states. She is a veteran securities litigator and pro-bono work has always been an integral part of her law practice.

Shining a Spotlight on Zelda B.

Zelda Berger, was honored with the Marvin Leff, z”l, Leadership Award at AMIT’s Long Island Gala in 2018. She has been a member of AMIT for over 50 years and is currently a member of the Board of Governors. She and her husband Solomon are proud members of the AMIT President’s Circle. Zelda was a member of the National Board for 8 years and, for over 4 years she has served as coordinator and moderator of the Literary Luncheon of the AMIT Margolit Chapter. Zelda also chairs and coordinates the Shalhevet Great Neck chapter’s Mishloach Manot project which successfully raises thousands of dollars for AMIT.

Shining a Spotlight on Laura & Amanda K.

Mother daughter duo Laura and Amanda Kornblum were honored at AMIT’s LI Gala in 2018. When researching possible Israel seminaries, Laura and Amanda knew immediately that Midreshet AMIT was the perfect match. AMIT’s core values system meshed perfectly with theirs. Laura believes that AMIT’s incorporation of the love of Israel, combined with its passion for accepting every student as she is while simultaneously stressing the importance of being a good and kind person. Amanda made the life-altering decision to attend Midreshet AMIT in 2015, where she spent her year gaining a love of Torah and chesed, while simultaneously cultivating a special connection with the state of Israel. AMIT’s combination of Torah study and chesed was a perfect match for Amanda; it truly planted the seeds of inner growth in the young woman she is today.


The bonds of friendship and chesed at AMIT are unbreakable, which is the reason it continues to remain such a special, integral part of her life. Spending time with the children of Beit Hayeled heightened her desire to pursue a career in child psychology.

Shining a Spotlight on Rochelle S.

Rochelle Sroka was honored at AMIT’s LI Gala in 2018. On a recent trip to Israel, Rochelle and Louis visited an AMIT school where they were profoundly impressed by the work AMIT is doing among the poorest communities in Israel. Rochelle is extremely grateful for this honor and wishes to extend her heartfelt thanks and warmest appreciation to the people of AMIT for the incredible work they do.

Shining a Spotlight on Shevi C.

Shevi Cohen was recently honored at AMIT’s LI Gala in 2018. She has been very active in AMIT, as a member of President’s Circle for many years, a member of the Executive Board, and the Board of Governors. She was a co-president of Shoshana Chapter and president of the Long Island Council. She chaired many of the Long Island luncheons and had the privilege to chair the Scholarship Dinner where Evelyn Schreiber was honored. She also served as co-chairman of membership and a delegate to the World Zionist Conference.

Shining a Spotlight on Beverly S.
Beverly Skolnick was honored at AMIT’s LI Gala in 2018. She has been active in many Jewish causes, particularly AMIT Women, for over 50 years. She is a member of their AMIT Daroma Chapter. Her daughter Naomi volunteered at AMIT while attending Stern College and is also an AMIT life member.

Beverly enjoys volunteering for AMIT, as well as spending quality time with her children and grandchildren, Alex, Sarah, Netanel, Rebecca, Elie, Josh, Jacob, Marc, Aliza, Eitan, Malka Rena, and Elisha, along with great-grandchildren, Avi and Gabey Goldstein. B”H.

Shining a Spotlight on Marilyn G.
Marilyn Grossman was honored at AMIT’s LI Gala in 2018. As a ba’al teshuva, Marilyn appreciates the importance of Jewish education and made it, along with a deep love for Israel, a priority for her children. This honor has given Marilyn the opportunity to learn more about AMIT’s network of schools, which incorporate her most important educational beliefs—that an education rooted in Jewish values with a strong academic program will develop productive, ethical young adults who will strengthen the state of Israel. She expects to be visiting Israel much more frequently now that her daughter made Aliyah in September, and she looks forward to visiting an AMIT school in the future.

Shining a Spotlight on Debra and Daniella H.
Debra explains how Amit was always a household name growing up, as her mother was involved in the organization. Debra became more involved in AMIT in recent years, after her daughter Daniella attended Midreshet AMIT, which she said was the natural choice for her unique year of Torah learning and chesed in Israel.

Shining a Spotlight on Suri K.
Suri describes how she became a lifetime member of AMIT during her Sheva Brachot week, and how her mother-in-law co-founded the Shalhevet chapter in Great Neck, of which Suri is now president. “We as religious Zionists have an obligation to support Israeli institutions that value Torah and midot and getting the best out of our kids,” she said, explaining her passion for the organization.

Shining a Spotlight on Aviva H.
Aviva was raised in a family with deep ties to AMIT, or Mizrachi Women’s Organization of America, as it was known at the time. Her first visit to Israel, in 1958, was with Mizrachi Women, and she came back so instilled with the group’s values that she began volunteering in its office and has been involved ever since.

Shining a Spotlight on Sharon and Sol M.
Thanks to Sharon, who has been involved with AMIT for more than two decades, the entire Merkin family has a strong connection to the organization and the children it serves. Their five sons have raised money for AMIT schools, and one even joined the AFLI board. “That’s what you want as a parent—to know that your kids are getting a message from you that they can help kids outside of their community,” said Sharon.

Shining a Spotlight on Martin E.
Martin Elias and his family have forged strong ties to AMIT over the years, and have been major supporters of the Beit Hayeled renovation campaign. Proud of his Greek Sephardic heritage, Martin is an active member of the Sephardic Temple in Cedarhurst, N.Y., and his family foundation supports numerous Israeli and Jewish charities.

Shining a Spotlight on Audrey and Max W.
As a young woman, Audrey was a member of Mizrachi Buds, a previous incarnation of NewGen, and today she and her husband, Max, are members of the President’s Circle. “AMIT stands for all the things that are important to us—educating the children, seeing that they have a future and the state of Israel,” said Audrey.

Shining a Spotlight on Jordana A.
An alumna of Midreshet AMIT, Jordana said she “loved the chesed aspect of the program,” adding that her year in Israel prompted her to take a more active role in AMIT while in college. “So many generations of women are involved in AMIT,” said Jordana. “It’s a tradition that people want to be part of.”

Shining a Spotlight on Shari & Jacob S
“My perspective changed when I went on the 90th mission to see it, to be in the schools, to see it happening. It was unbelievable to me, and I came back really inspired and interested in doing more,” said Shari. “They don’t just run schools, they actually teach how to run schools and develop curriculum. There are all types of kids and we need to serve them all,” commented Jacob.

Shining a Spotlight on Alexandra and Talia T
Alexandra recalls, “My time at Midreshet AMIT was one of the best years of my life. I love working with kids. When I saw the level of therapy and emotional support they get it’s amazing.” Talia got involved with AFLI for college-age students who want to make a difference. She speaks about how it brings kids from throughout the tristate area together in a fun, but meaningful way.

Shining a Spotlight on Ellen & Stanley W
“Educating Jewish children with Torah values is what AMIT does so well. When we heard that the Kfar Blat campus was in need of rebuilding, we felt it was very important to provide a good environment for children to learn,” said Ellen & Stanley W. “You get a tremendous sense of pride when you see the results of the work that you do for AMIT. Children are happy and in a good place.”

Shining a Spotlight on Elaine G
Elaine G. talks about her personal interest in technology and how important it is that AMIT schools in Israel are leading the way in STEM education while infusing the students with a Jewish-values based foundation.

Shining a Spotlight on Amanda & Isaac B
“We think AMIT schools are the basis for a truly strong country, education both inside and outside the classroom is extremely important for the success of the state of Israel and the Jewish people,.”

Shining a Spotlight on Deena & Adam S
“Children of Israel should be given the same excellent education as our children get. It’s about more than helping children from disadvantaged homes, it’s about the fact that 95% of AMIT students serve in the military and 85% receive a bagrut (matriculation) diploma and go on to work in the upper echelons of Israeli society.

Shining a Spotlight on Elana G
Seven years ago Elana spent a gap year at Midreshet AMIT in Israel. Her experience there shaped how her life played out. Over the past ten years, she became a lawyer and education advocate and now works with foster children and volunteers with AMIT future leadership and young leadership.

Shining a Spotlight on Sami S
Twenty-six years ago Sami S. made a pledge to do anything for any child. Watch why she’s been involved with AMIT every since.

Shining a Spotlight on Marisa B
Marisa spent her childhood tagging along with her mother to AMIT programs and when she graduated high school, she chose to spend go to Midreshet AMIT, and spent a year learning and loving Torah at Beit Hayeled, a foster home for disadvantaged children. “Most people think it is you who impact the children, but it they who impact you.”

Shining a Spotlight on Sari B
Sari B shares her lifelong connection to AMIT from childhood to when she became active as an adult. “I realized it’s not about the bake sales or Mishloch Manot, it’s about the kids in Israel who aren’t as lucky as my kids who need someone to care about them, love them, and nurture them.”

Shining a Spotlight on Liza R
Liza R was raised with a great love for Israel. Here’s just one thing she has to say, “I work in education and with children every day and when I see a child struggling and finally getting it that is what AMIT does and that is why I love AMIT.

Shining a Spotlight on Chayala L
Chayala became a lifetime member as a young adult. “AMIT is a special organization. Children are the framework of society and it’s not just about educating a child, it’s taking the whole child and nurturing them,” she shares.

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