A year later, Manchester Bidwell Corp.’s Israel off-shoot is thriving

Nov 16, 2017 by

AKKO, Israel — It is just shy of a year since Mark Frank’s dream of bringing the Manchester model to Israel became a reality.

Since Mr. Frank, of Point Breeze, founded the Akko Center for Arts & Technology in Akko last November, 465 Arab and Jewish students have taken advantage of its programs.

“We don’t preach anything; we just let people hope together, have aspirations together, and so far we have found a successful formula,” Mr. Frank said at a one-year celebration here Wednesday that drew a couple of hundred people.

A colorful arrangement of photographs and 3D printer projects designed by students highlight the two main skills taught to youth ages 14 through 18 at the center. One image on display captured a silhouette of Akko’s old city, established on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea about 4,000 years ago.

Mr. Frank, a lawyer at the Downtown firm Campbell & Levine, visited Israel for the first time in 1996, when one of his daughter’s friends had a bat mitzvah in Jerusalem. But since conceiving of the Akko Center for Arts & Technology a decade ago after he met Manchester Bidwell Corp. CEO William E. Strickland Jr., he’s been traveling to the Holy Land half a dozen times a year.

In the Pittsburgh region, Manchester Bidwell offers diverse programming to create educational opportunities for what it calls adults-in-transition and urban and at-risk youth.

Akko, a port city of about 50,000, is one of only a few sizable mixed cities in Israel, and its history of relatively peaceful coexistence made it the perfect location for pursuing what Mr. Frank called his impossible dream.

Source: A year later, Manchester Bidwell Corp.’s Israel off-shoot is thriving

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