Avraham Shahak Avni: Forming lasting bonds of service to the community
Avraham Shahak Avni, a leader in the Jewish community in Israel and abroad, has devoted his life to serving those in need – creating lasting, personal relationships with hundreds of people and organizations worldwide.
Jewish Community of Cyprus
Avraham Shahak Avni is a successful businessman in a wide variety of enterprises. His business ambitions are paired with a deep sense of responsibility to his community. As much as he gains, he and his family find it doubly important to give back.
Avni, who holds Cypriot citizenship, has led the Jewish Community of Cyprus to new heights since 2014. Avni is one of the central figures that has helped ensure that Jewish life can flourish in Cyprus. Recently, Avni and his family donated an elegant new Torah Scroll to the Chabad Center in Larnaca as a celebration of its tenth anniversary and as the Jewish community marked a new Jewish Year.
Within the framework of his role as Jewish Community Leader, Avraham Shahak Avni along with his wife Irit Avni and the Chief Rabbi of Cyprus, Rabbi Aryeh Zeev Raskin, founded the Min Shemaya organization.
The charitable organization was founded on a central Jewish belief “Kol Yisrael Arevim Ze la Ze,” meaning all of Israel and the Jewish communities are responsible for one another. This central principle has guided the Jewish people through the ages in the global diaspora. It sustains the survival of their traditions and is one that drives Avni and his family.
There are serval charitable organizations around the world driven to help their communities. Choosing to try and tackle human issues from a different angle, Shahak Avni decided to invest his efforts in the crucial aspect of treating the condition, the root of the issues, and not just the symptoms of those issues.
For this reason, “Min Shemaya” works directly with those in need, choosing to limit the bureaucracy involved in charitable work. This strategy ensures that those who need help can truly receive the help that they need. The organization donates clothing and food, organizes charitable activities, and helps to raise money for children who require various medical procedures.
Charitable activities in Israel
Avraham Shahak Avni and his family actively carrying out good deeds in Israel in addition to the family’s charitable work in Cyprus. The family is dedicated to improving all aspects of daily life in Israel. In this pursuit to strengthen communities, Avni supports the “House of Good Deeds” charity headed by Chabad Rabbi of Ramat Gan, Yossi Gal.
The “House of Good Deeds” leads and participates in many charitable activities in partnership with the Ramat Gan municipality benefitting children, cultural activities throughout the city, and assists new immigrants to Israel to ensure a smooth integration into Israeli society.
A unique example of Avraham Shahak Avni’s support in developing cultural activities is “The Basement” project that is led alongside Rabbi Yossi Gal. “The Basement” project is a jam space where underprivileged children can learn how to play many different instruments after school. The venture is designed to give these children a creative framework within which to express themselves and learn a new skill.
The “House of Good Deeds” also gives many people in the community the opportunity to volunteer for various initiatives, contributing greatly to the cohesion and harmony Ramat Gan prides itself on.
Recently, Avraham Shahak Avni was centrally involved in a worthy cause to deliver food products to those in need as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The campaign was featured on the popular Israeli late-night news show “Hatzinor”. The humanitarian efforts highlighted in the 2-minute segment arose out of the challenges experienced by many citizens during the pandemic and the ensuing economic crisis it triggered.
During the peak of the pandemic, the “House of Good Deeds” worked tirelessly to raise funds to deliver essential food items to those in need. Once record-breaking funds were raised thanks to the generosity of donors, volunteers drove around the country and went door to door delivering boxes of food to families confined to their homes because of the lockdown. Charitable campaigns such as this helped many families to get through the tough times brought on by the coronavirus.
Avraham Shahak Avni and his family serve as a true example of leadership for Jewish communities around the world and in Israel through their acts of generosity.