An article in today's New York Times highlights the 14th Street Y's upcoming dance show, LABA Fellow Hadar Ahuvia's "Everything you have is yours?"
The Times asked Ahuvia, “Is it risky showing this work at a Jewish-affiliated organization like the 14th Street Y?” She replied, ”It’s a little risky. I don’t know who’s going to come, and last year when I did a work-in-progress showing [at the Y], there was some tension about the content of the work. But they pride themselves on being a place that’s politically open, where artists can say what they want to say.“
Check out the full article in Today's New York Times and click here to buy tickets to the show!
Educational Alliance President and CEO confirms Educational Alliance's full support of immigrants and vulnerable populations through the We the People Initiative in an op-ed article to Gotham Gazette.
Read Alan's full piece here.
In an op-ed to The Lowdown, Educational Alliance President & CEO praised Mayor Bill de Blasio's efforts to make NYC's tech industry more inclusive with Civic Hall's new Tech Hub!
Read Alan's full piece here.
This is Karla Zelaya.
She came to New York City from El Salvador, leaving behind everything she knew so she could pursue a better life for herself and her family.
"My area was very violent and my country lacked opportunity. After a tough 27-day journey from El Salvador, I continued to struggle in the U.S. because I did not know the language. My greatest heartbreak, aside from being away from family, was that I had to give up on my dream of continuing my education."
That's when Karla found Educational Alliance. Another parent in the Lower East Side referred her to our program, where she enrolled her son in a Head Start classroom. While her son was in our care, we helped Karla learn English so she could go back to school. Recently, Karla did something amazing...
"I got my high school diploma this year!! I can't believe it. After all of this hard work, it fills me with pride to hold that diploma in my hand and see my name on it. It's like I'm holding a key to a better life for myself and my family, to a door that I never thought would open for me. Now, I'm beginning the next step in my journey - pursuing my college degree!"
We're so proud of Karla and inspired by her resilience. She's just one of our hundreds of Head Start parents who are going back to school, learning new life skills, and building a brighter future.
Every dollar matters. Let's make sure parents like Karla continue to have the opportunity to pursue happiness and prosperity in our city.
Please make your end-of-year donation today.
Your Friends at Educational Alliance
We recently interviewed Shana and Jim, a wonderful couple who chose to have their wedding ceremony at The Rooftop @ Manny Cantor Center. Read their story below!
MCC: First, thank you for choosing MCC as your wedding venue and sharing your wedding album with us! We loved your photos. We have to know: how did you two meet?
S&J: We actually met on OkCupid. We’re both wine connoisseurs and that’s how we connected!
MCC: It looks like the pre-wedding photos were taken in the Lower East Side. Do you have a special connection to the neighborhood?
S&J: We live across the street from Manny Cantor Center now. We moved in and just fell in the love with the neighborhood and wanted to shoot in places here that are important to us: the flower garden in Seward Park, Russ and Daughters, Schiller’s, this one corner of Alan and Rivington that’s special for us.
MCC: Why did you choose to have your wedding at Manny Cantor Center?
S&J: Manny Cantor Center is the first place that we looked at. We were just looking at the time and we thought “It can’t be that easy”–there’s an event space on the roof, it’s beautiful, it’s in the neighborhood. We looked at several places and ended up coming back here. We loved the space, the price was right, your were flexible so we could create the ceremony we wanted.
MCC: We’re so happy to hear that! How was your experience here?
S&J: Great, your Rentals Manager Amy was fantastic to work with. She was so flexible and accommodating and open to letting our vendors come in. Everyone here was great to work with and we would recommend the space to anybody.
MCC: That’s lovely to hear! What was your favorite part of the day?
S&J: We loved the photo shoot and walking around in the neighborhood, and the ceremony was just so special to be able to say these words of commitment to the person standing across from you. My husband actually made the chuppa we were married under and it’s under our bed now.
Many thanks to Shana and Jim for sharing their special day and this story with us!
If you’re interested in learning more about event space rentals at Manny Cantor Center, please reach out to our Rentals Team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 646.395.4188. The Rooftop @ Manny Cantor Center is available to rent for special events; industry gatherings, launch events, weddings and other celebrations. Each rental supports Manny Cantor Center community programming and our vibrant Lower East Side community.
Our first Divas & Dumplings fundraiser raised over $23,000 for LGBTQIA youth. The night came together in a string of efforts from organizations across the Lower East Side- donated dumplings from Café Katja, Ludlow House, Stanton Social, and Veselka, complimentary drag performances from Bella Noche and Ellia J. Garlands courtesy of the Imperial Court of New York, and a donated event space from Pianos NYC. We also enjoyed a room full of amazing guests and contributors who helped make the night a success.
Educational Alliance seeks to adapt and meet the needs of our continuously changing community on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. LGBTQIA+ youth are one of the most at risk populations, this event helped raise money to support LGBTQIA+ youth programming at our Edgies’ Teen Center. We want to thank you if you were a part of this special night whether performing or attending.
SHARE THE EXCITEMENT and the event recap video below!
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New York, NY—October 26, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Educational Alliance Partners with Lower East Side Community Organizations to Empower Residents to Organize and Act on Community Concerns
Aiming to empower marginalized groups to engage in local government issues, Educational Alliance is partnering with New York Public Library and Grand Street Settlement to host “Community Conversations” where the neighborhood’s residents can determine their own civic priorities and take action.
Lower East Side, NY – Educational Alliance (EA) is partnering with other community organizations in the Lower East Side to give a civic voice to the neighborhood’s residents. In a new 3-part program titled Community Conversations: Lower East Side Matters, EA and its partner organizations will provide a process and tools for community members to affect local change. On October 25, 2017 the first Community Conversations forum was held at EA’s Manny Cantor Center in the Lower East Side. Dozens of local residents spent time discussing a broad range of issues such as neighborhood safety and support for local business before deciding to focus the rest of the series on the issue of affordable housing. At the next two events in the series, they will drill down on the issue in an open forum and determine a plan of action.
“Democracy only works as a level playing field where each segment of a community is able to be heard,” said Alan van Capelle, President & CEO of Educational Alliance. “Often, marginalized groups face increased barriers to participating in civic engagement. With this series, we’re eliminating those barriers and assisting our neighbors in determining the priorities of their district and addressing those issues head-on.”
Andrew Fairweather, New York Public Library Community Liaison who spearheaded the program at Seward Park Library said “There is nothing so important in a neighborhood like ours, which sees so much change, as a sense of belonging. A true, rich, and authentic sense of belonging can only come as a result of engaging with our neighbors in a process of struggle we hold in common. Of all the outcomes which may result in this series, it is my hope that, above all, we may come to know such a sense of belonging.”
Executive Director of Grand Street Settlement Robert Cordero, said “As a settlement house, Grand Street Settlement creates platforms for community members to voice their opinions and work toward viable solutions. We are proud to work in coalition with our fellow LES organizations to empower the neighborhood.”
“Manny Cantor Center is proud to host these important conversations. We hope that a broad range of local residents—from novices to experienced advocates—will make their voices heard,” said Rabbi Joanna Samuels, Executive Director of Manny Cantor Center.
The issues discussed at the first Community Conversations forum will be accompanied by a formulated concrete plan for action in the following weeks. Community Conversations: Lower East Side Matters is a collaborative effort of Educational Alliance, New York Public Library’s Seward Park Branch, Lower East Side Action Group, and Grand Street Settlement.
Click here to download photos from the event.
About Educational Alliance
Educational Alliance (www.edalliance.org) is a 128-year-old community based organization serving more than 50,000 New Yorkers. Providing services to people of all ages and backgrounds, their programs include an incredibly successful College Prep program where in a district with graduation rates as low as 37%, 100% of teenage College Prep participants graduate, go on to college, and receive financial aid. They are also the administrators of Head Start, Early Head Start, and Afterschool programs across lower Manhattan. Millions have been helped by EA’s programs including Karen Canella, a first generation immigrant who became the focus of a campaign EA led to restore NYC’s funding for teen programs. In 2017, EA has galvanized the community behind the “We the People” initiative, claiming lower Manhattan as a sanctuary from the hate and divisiveness that has spread across the nation in the wake of the recent election, leaving many of the vulnerable populations EA serves feeling anxious and scared.
Jake Link, Director of Communications
15 years ago, Karla Zelaya made a long and difficult journey from El Salvador to the United States. Her worst fear was entering a country where she could not speak any of the language. She did not know how she would survive in a new country with limited education, but she was determined to make a better life for herself and her family.
“I started night school to learn the basics,” Karla said. “I heard about Educational Alliance from a friend in the park. She had a daughter and talked about schools. She was an immigrant from the Dominican Republic. I asked her how does she go to school and raise a little girl? She said they provide childcare and ever since then I got involved.”
Today, Karla is an extremely involved parent at Educational Alliance as a member of the parent policy council, and a classroom volunteer. She is also an immigrant embodying the very values and ideals that make our country great, letting hard work break barriers and build bridges.
The services at Educational Alliance allowed Karla to accomplish her goal and get her diploma because she had childcare for her son while she took classes and studied. “Educational Alliance has been a big help for me because I could be able to go to my English classes first while my son was in childcare. When I became fluent, I was able to take my High School Equivalency classes while he was in childcare.”
“After all those years of studying and struggling and working very hard with math, and reading, and writing, I finally got my diploma. I went to take my test in two days—I took it two days—and I felt terrible after taking the test because I felt I’m a loser, like I didn’t pass because it was so hard, and then I went home very tired, and very stressed, and very disappointed. I said to my husband, ‘I think I failed.’ It was so hard, and my head hurt, and my stomach hurt, and I was so tired and exhausted.
Then, to my surprise, in four weeks I was so anxious to know what really happened- at least maybe I passed one subject or something—I was screaming like crazy when I got in the mail the letter for me from the Department of Education, and then I opened it up and I saw that it was my diploma and it was so—you know—I was overjoyed and I screamed, and I laughed, and I cried. For me getting my diploma was like opening a door, a door that was very hard to open because of having a very low grade from back home. I felt like going back to school because I didn’t do high school back home, so I started over like a new student so for me it’s a big accomplishment, and a dream that came true, and hopefully there are more dreams to come.”
Karla’s unique journey fits into the collage of experiences that each member of the Educational Alliance community has faced in one-way or another, whether immigrant or a native born citizen. Karla is a role model and symbol for what we stand for and support. Dreams become a reality with hard work. Karla and many others continue to break barriers.
“For me, getting my diploma is like opening a door—a door that was very hard to open.” Karla’s next step will be to earn a college degree. Educational Alliance will continue to be there every step of the way.
New York, NY – September 26, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Educational Alliance Collects Donations to Assist with Hurricane Relief in Puerto Rico
Lower East Side, NY – In the wake of the disaster that has hit Puerto Rico, Educational Alliance (EA) is joining city-wide efforts in collecting donations to help with hurricane relief. Starting at noon today, September 26th and continuing through October 1st, Educational Alliance is joining city-wide efforts by opening their four community centers as Collection Centers. The organization is collecting items at Manny Cantor Center, 14th Street Y, Sirovich Center, and Center for Recovery and Wellness- from September 26, 2017-October 1, 2017.
“This is a time of crisis for Puerto Rico,” said Alan van Capelle, President & CEO of Educational Alliance. “In a city with the largest concentration of Puerto Ricans outside of the island, the impact of this disaster is particularly strong. We stand with our Puerto Rican sisters and brothers and hope to provide as much relief as possible during this tragic time. I hope you’ll join me in collecting items to send to our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico.”
EA has partnered with New York City’s relief efforts and are accepting diapers, baby food, batteries, First Aid Supplies (ex: band aids & bandaging supplies, Neosporin and Bacitracin, cotton balls & swabs, ace bandages and support wraps, gloves & masks), and feminine hygiene products. ONLY the items listed above can be collected. All donated items must be non-perishable, not second-hand, nor contain any liquids of any kind. Open or unsealed donations of food or hygiene supplies and wet wipes cannot be accepted.
About Educational Alliance
Educational Alliance (www.edalliance.org) is a 128-year-old community based organization that serves more than 50,000 New Yorkers every year. Providing services to people of all ages and backgrounds, their programs include an incredibly successful College Prep program where 100% of participants graduate, go on to college and receive financial aid. EA also administers Head Start, Early Head Start, and Afterschool programs across Lower Manhattan. Millions have been helped by EA’s programs including Karen Canella, a first generation immigrant who became the focus of a campaign EA led to restore NYC’s funding for teen programs.
Jake Link, Director of Communications
From our kitchen to yours, please enjoy this Rosh Hashanah recipe of Sweet Noodle Kugel with Apples, have a sweet New Year!