Film About Tel Aviv School Wins Academy Award
Friday, 02 September 2011 08:24
"Strangers No More," a film about the Bialik-Rogozin School in Tel Aviv, won the Academy Award in the category of Documentary (Short Subject) on February 27.
The documentary, produced and directed by Karen Goodman and Kirk Simon, provides a window into a remarkable school in Tel Aviv where children from 48 different countries come together to learn. The film shares the stories of several students as they struggle to overcome their early hardships and acclimate to life in a new land. One of these remarkable children is Mohammed, a sixteen-year-old refugee from Darfur who had never before attended school. Upon graduation, Mohammed declares his dream to return to Darfur and build a school for the children of the village he once fled.
Bialik-Rogozin's principal, Karen Tal, was very pleased by the news of the Oscar nomination. "This fills me with tremendous happiness and pride," she told the Yediot Ahronot. "I think the film shows the beautiful side of Israel and the basic values that we respond to as Jews, Israelis and human beings. Here we have taken on the responsibility to look after the needy. We have given these children recognition and helped provide them with a better present and future."
The Bialik-Rogozin School in south Tel Aviv is attended by 750 students, ranging from kindergarten to 12th grade. The mostly-immigrant students come from extremely challenging backgrounds and have needs far beyond basic education. The dedicated staff works hard to meet the many needs of the children and help them move forward and overcome their extremely challenging backgrounds. The film's directors described Bialik-Rogozin as "an extraordinary place where one can experience a sense of humanity so rich and pervasive it often feels impossible."
For years, money donated to the Tel Aviv Foundation has supported the Bialik-Rogozin School in many ways. The Dr. Jacob and Lena Joels Library and Resource Center serves as the heart of the school and is open from the morning to evening for the benefit of the students, teachers and parents. The Harold and Valerie Joels Dining Room and Cafeteria serves hot nutritious meals (for many of the children, this is the only place they receive such a meal) to all the students. The Music Room, donated by the Caesarea Foundation, allows the school to include two weekly hours of music lessons for kindergarten and elementary school students. Donations to the Tel Aviv Foundation also support a variety of ongoing extracurricular activities.
The Tel Aviv Foundation is currently raising money for a new gymnasium that will provide the students with proper facilities for physical exercise and another constructive afternoon activity. As Principal Tal recently said, "the secret of Bialik Rogozin’s success lies in the partnerships it has forged and in the ability of all the stakeholders to work together."
For more information about Strangers No More, please visit the Simon & Goodman website.
For more information about the Bialik-Rogozin gymnasium, please download our proposal.
Jerusalem Post article: South Tel Aviv school thrilled with Oscar nod