Support, love and engage
It's pretty rare for someone to be awarded an MBE - and even less common if they are not British. But this month, Aviva Ben-Rafael, became the first Israeli woman to receive this accolade for her work as director of the Israel Youth Awards to empower the country's young people.
UJIA funds the Israel Youth Awards, a Duke of Edinburgh-affiliated scheme, in Ma'aleh Yosef, Shlomi and Merom HaGalil, encouraging young people to volunteer and become leaders in their community. The programme enables young people aged 14-25 to realise their potential by focusing on four elements: volunteering in the community, hobbies and skills, sport and expeditions. The Israel Youth Awards empower young people from across Israel's diverse communities, including religious and secular Jews, Arabs, Bedouins, Circassians and Druze.
Aviva's parents travelled to Israel from Libya and Morocco in the 1905s and she was born in the Binyamin transit camp for new immigrants in 1960. She realised her dream of becoming a teacher and social worker and eventually worked at the Israeli Ministry of Education where she ran training programmes.