Etta Israel Center merges with N.Y. OHEL


Etta Israel Center merges with New York’s OHEL Children’s Home and Family Services Merger Helps Those With Special Needs and Enriches Communities

Jonathan, who lives in an Etta Israel Center residence in Los Angeles, and Donny, who lives in an OHEL Bais Ezra residence in New York, may be separated by a 5-hour flight – but they’re both funny, upbeat, and enjoy music. And now they have one more thing in common.
We are pleased and proud to announce that as of October 2012, the Etta Israel Center has merged with OHEL Children’s and Family Services. OHEL and Etta share the mission of elevating the lives of individuals and families in need and integrating those challenged by disability. Etta’s name and structure do not change. We enter this merger to help us grow, expand services, and secure our future and lifetime commitment to our clients.
Etta was founded in 1993 in Los Angeles in memory of Mrs. Etta Israel who believed in the potential of every individual with special needs. Today Etta offers residential services, case management, independent living support, educational services, youth programs, and summer day camp programs.
OHEL was founded in 1969 in New York City as a foster care agency for abused and neglected Jewish children. With over 1,200 dedicated staff members, OHEL serves thousands of children, adults and families every day through its divisions of OHEL Foster Care, OHEL Bais Ezra, OHEL Mental Health, OHEL Lifetime Care, OHEL Institute of Training and Camp Kaylie at OHEL.
Etta and OHEL together are largest provider of residential services for Jewish adults nationally.
Dr. Michael Held, Etta’s Executive Director, notes: “Our merger with OHEL will further Etta’s goals to meet the ever increasing needs of the Los Angeles community drawing on the welcome support of OHEL – a highly regarded, larger and secure partner that will help us with strategic planning, development and growth.”
Concrete achievements due to the merger already include the opening of Etta’s fourth group home, the Aaron Bloom Home, an expanded Shabbaton program this year, and plan to open adult day programs.
“OHEL has always sought to address the challenges in the community and these needs are universal,” say Moishe Hellman and Mel Zachter, Co-Presidents of OHEL. With this merger, OHEL gains a leading cutting-edge, beloved and professional West Coast partner to secure their national presence.
Sharon Levine of Los Angeles and Moishe Hellman of New York will serve as Co-Presidents in leading the new, joint Board of Directors. The Directors include: Kam Babaoff, Shloime Dachs, Ben Englander, Dave Garden, Jay Kestenbaum, Elly Kleinman, Irving Langer, Murray Lappe, Irving Lebovics, Chavee Lerer Mellon, Betty Ryzman, Rivka Wilamowsky and Mel Zachter.
We are excited to share this vision with the greater Los Angeles community at our 19th Annual Gala, November 14 at the California Science Center, themed “Transforming Tomorrow Together.” OHEL’s lay and staff leadership will be attending. We invite you to learn more, get to know OHEL, and be present for this momentous celebration that benefits us all. For more information visit
With this merger, OHEL and Etta will further strengthen the lives of the thousands of individuals and families served through a lifetime commitment of care. To find out what Etta can do for you, please call 818-985-3882 or email

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