It is an honor and a pleasure for me to extend my warmest New Year's greetings to you as the new director of the Ofakim Community Center. My name is Ran Juhl, I am 38 years old, married and the father of three daughters.
I have come to Ofakim from the Western Galilee region where, for the past six years, I have managed the Department of Children, Youth and Community Services of the Mateh Asher Regional Council. I come from a regional council that maintained (jointly with the city of Acco) a strong relationship with a number of communities in the Midwest in the framework of Partnership 2000. As a result, a large number of educational and social processes were realized in both formal and informal frameworks.
My professional worldview maintains that one must utilize this Partnership platform, on the one hand, to help promote the needs and interests of the partners on both sides of the ocean, and, on the other hand, to establish personal relationships between people - for this, indeed, is the essence of a community organization at its best.
The Ofakim Community Center is undergoing a great deal of upheaval at this time as a result of the development and implementation of its organizational recovery plan, which was approved by the mayor and the board of the community center. We are entering a difficult period of reducing operational expenses and auditing of all of our areas of activity (communications, finance, procedures, activity channels and more). Along with this, an extensive fundraising process, whose aim is to reduce the organization's cumulative deficit considerably, will be carried out.
I am convinced that we will succeed in this endeavor of ours, and we will return the community center to its unique central place in the wonderful community of Ofakim.
It is our intention to preserve the continuing activity channels by emphasizing the development of a significant volunteers unit (Time Bank Project and Volunteer House). During the coming year, we will conduct a reevaluation so that, by March, 2007, we be able to prepare ourselves as an organization with proposals for new and additional operations.
I would also like to use this opportunity to update everyone on the current effort, as part of the "over and above" budget, to reopen the Ofakim scouts branch - an important response to the needs of the informal education system in the community, which also has the potential for ties with your "Sabra" branch.
Ofakim Community Center Director