Jan. 5, 2012, Beit Safafa, Jerusalem -- Just a day after several vehicles were set ablaze in the Beit Safafa neighborhood of Jerusalem by Jewish extremists, a unique educational center was opened in the same neighborhood by the Bakehila Organization.
 

Bakehila is the community outreach program of Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP).
The center offers exceptional educational and enrichment activities to children from grades 5 to 10 from the neighborhood, all from Arabic-speaking teachers and students.
Bakehila currently runs ten such centers in neighborhoods throughout Jerusalem, offering aid and enrichment to 3,000 grade school children.
 

Bakehila was established nine years ago by Erel Margalit, founder and Chairman of JVP. Bakehila aims at revitalizing Jerusalem’s neighborhoods by aiding children from underprivileged neighborhoods, developing the skills they need to bridge social and economic gaps.
 

Bakehila is active in five Jerusalem neighborhoods – Katamon, Gilo, Neve Yaakov, Talpiot, and now, Beit Safafa. This educational center is the first to open in an Arab community.
According to Margalit, “The educational center was founded so that every child who needs help in succeeding will have the opportunity to do so.”
 

Muhammed Alian, Deputy Principal of the Beit Tsafafa Grade School, said, “The change these students have undergone is indescribable. I see them in school, in the neighborhood, in our mosques, and I notice the profound change wherever I go.”