Gal Gadot has been named ELEM’s 40th Anniversary LifeSaver Award recipient, along with Daniel and Rabbi Sara Sapadin. Former recipients include Rachel Bloom and Fran Drescher.

The board of directors at ELEM/Youth in Distress in Israel chose Gadot due to her role in empowering young women and girls with projects such as Wonder Woman and Impact, both in front of the camera as well as behind it. It has chosen Dan and Rabbi Sara Sapadin for their years-long commitment to ELEM’s cause.

In addition, this year, ELEM will be giving a Legacy Award for the first time. The Award recipients are Ann and Kenneth (Z” L) Bialkin, as well as Bobbie Glass and Frances Katz. Ann Bialkin was the founder of ELEM, while Boobie Glass and Frances Katz have been board members for 40 years.

ELEM’s origin story starts in New York.

The 12,500 young people ELEM serves annually, in-person and online, encounter tremendous challenges, such as domestic violence, substance abuse, neglect, homelessness, and prostitution, in addition to the distress caused by national security concerns. ELEM works with secular and religious Jews; Christian and Muslim Arabs; immigrants; and the LGBTQIA+ community. Many of these youths are homeless, and most will not seek help from traditional social service groups. Over 50 programs in more than 40 cities provide counseling, mentoring, vocational training, and safe spaces for youth to become productive members of Israeli society.

The organization is unique in its informal approach to youth, as well as its services, provided without judgment or pre-conditions, to youth on the entire risk spectrum. ELEM reaches out to youth on their turf, including beaches, parks, areas where prostitution takes place, and in schools. It has been recognized by the United Nations as a special consultant in the field of at-risk youth.

A special 40th Ray of Hope benefit will take place in New York City on October 12th, 2023. Participants include ELEM’s founders, special guests from Israel, and musical entertainment.

To learn more, visit:

New York Jewish Guide