Article - Lion's Israel 50th Anniversary
Lions Israel’s 50th Anniversary
In March 1960, the late Prime Minister David Ben Gurion charged the Director General of his office, Mr. Teddy Kollek, with the task of establishing the Lions organization in Israel. The first club, established in Jerusalem and remaining active to this day, was subsequently followed by additional clubs in Tel-Aviv and Haifa. Clubs currently exist throughout the country, from Nazareth in the north to Arad in the south.
A lion, the largest volunteer organization in the world, is an international organization whose motto is “We Serve”. Lions’ 1,350,000 worldwide members, men and women, belong to 45,000 clubs in some 200 countries.
Lions Founder Melvin Jones initiated the idea of volunteerism among a group of people whose motivation did not stem from members’ political, religious, ethnic or personal interests. In the spirit of this new idea, 25 like-minded groups from around the U.S. assembled in the city of Chicago on 17 June 1917 and founded the “International Lions” movement.
The name “Lions” is in fact an acronym standing for:
Liberty, Intelligence, Our Nation, Safety.
The letter “L” appears at the center of the organization’s emblem, flanked by lions on either side, representing the movement’s simultaneous reference to past and present: pride regarding the past alongside a secure view ahead toward the future.
Lion’s worldwide activity focuses mainly on the prevention of blindness, improving the environment, natural disaster relief, aid to special medical and educational projects and widespread activities benefitting children and youths.
The Lions Club International Foundation (LCIF) supports international projects on behalf of the Lions organization. The foundation has supported a number of projects in Israel, at a cost of some $400,000.
Some 900 volunteers are currently active in Israel, within the framework of 32 clubs. In accordance with the principles of the organization, each club enjoys complete freedom to further the organizational goals and implement them as it sees fit, based on the needs of the local community.
Lions Israel is involved in many areas, through its clubs throughout the country: aid to the visually impaired, organizing blood drives, scholarships to pupils and students, youth exchanges between Israel and other countries, the “Peace Poster” competition and music among children and youths, a painting competition for seniors, managing “Europe Caf?” – cafes for Holocaust survivors, fostering community volunteerism and more.
Organizational officers all work voluntarily and are elected to their posts for one year terms. Lions Israel welcomes groups and individuals who are interested in joining the world’s largest service organization.
For information about the Lions organization, please see the websites for Lions Israel: www.lions.org.il and Lions International: www.lionsclub.org.
Lions Israel Governor