We’re celebrating AACI’s 60th anniversary. In writing this article, it occurred to me that I am only slightly older than AACI. And when I started comparing what I’ve accomplished, compared to AACI, I have to admit that AACI is far ahead.
Did you know that in 1957, in response to the dire need for housing, AACI sponsored housing projects for Western Olim in Kfar Haroeh, Holon and Herzliya Pituach? In 1958, building on the success of these projects, AACI sponsored the first cooperative housing project in Jerusalem, known today as Nayot. Other building projects include the area in the French Hill now known as “Tsameret Habira.”
AACI lobbied the Knesset to include Olim aged 60+ under the National Health Insurance Law. We worked for years to reform the taxation of American Olim in Israel, and we were able to get Western Olim included in the new immigrant basket. It was AACI who initiated the construction of “Nofim,” the first Assisted Living Facility in Israel which became the model for all Assisted Living Facilities here.
In response to the massive immigration of Russians to Jerusalem, our members stepped up to provide free tutoring for those who needed knowledge of English. The AACI Cohen Library for the Visually Impaired lends out English large-print books and books on tape or CD all over the country. AACI was a leader in lobbying for Anti-Smoking legislation and its enforcement. In 2009, I helped in the AACI campaign for the elimination of an excise tax on American Citizens living abroad that was a part of the proposed U.S. Health Care Reform Bill.
AACI sponsors more programs and tours both in Israel and overseas than ever before. Our counselors continue to help Olim Chadashim and Vatikim. AACI has always been busy behind the scenes, helping individuals, getting rulings and clarifying issues. When we’re needed, we’re there.
We address the issues that impact the lives of our members and their quality of life in Israel. In doing so, we’ve become the preeminent voice of Israel’s English speaking community.
None of these accomplishments would be possible without our members’ financial support, our dedicated staff and the tireless efforts of our volunteers. We continue to need your help. If you’re not already a member, join
. If you’re a member and can help us financially, donate
. And if you have the time and the passion, contact us
and help us continue to build on our past successes.