What are the classic signs of a successful life? Most people would list their professional achievements and worldly assets as a measure of their success. A lavish bungalow, expensive car, desirable job, and a seven-figure bank balance – it’s easy to assume that these are the characteristics of a high-flying individual.
But three Israeli businessmen – Eyal Edry, Moshe Edree, and Refael Edry – are showing the world that success means more than assets and accolades. Ultimately, it’s about everything you do to make the world better.
An Ode to Humble Beginnings
Eyal Edry and his brothers, Moshe Edree and Rafi Edry, were born and raised in Safed – Israel’s highest city. Their family had been in Safed for generations. While they didn’t enjoy the most affluent upbringing, their father always provided enough to make ends meet.
Reaching for the Silver Lining
But that changed in the 1970s when their family started experiencing financial difficulties. As a seventeen-year-old, Eyal Edry had dreams of graduating from college and getting a respectable job offer.
However, those plans didn’t materialise when he had to give up his education and start earning to support his family. Moshe Edree and Refael Edry shared the same plight.
The good thing is that the three brothers were determined not to let their childhood determine the course of their lives. Eyal Edry enlisted in the IDF and started training to become a paratrooper. But fate landed him in a wheelchair after a near-fatal accident on duty.
That didn’t stop him from attending college and earning a degree in psychology. Eventually, he joined hands with Moshe Edree and Refael Edry to establish various successful companies in Africa.
Today, the Edry brothers are accomplished entrepreneurs with several awards and milestones under their belt. But those achievements can’t compensate for the pain of deprivation they’d experienced in childhood.
Bringing a Ray of Hope for Others
While Eyal Edry and his brothers managed to turn their lives around, millions of children in Israel aren’t as fortunate. Living in the country’s geographic and social periphery, these children struggle for basic resources, like food and shelter.
Getting a college degree and bagging a job offer is a luxury many can’t afford. They lack financial aid and proper guidance to break away from a life of deprivation and gloom.
While many people are aware of the plight of these children, Eyal Edry, Moshe Edree, and Refael Edry share first-hand experiences of their pain. They couldn’t stand watching young children waste away their lives due to a lack of resources.
The zeal to support these children led the Edry brothers to launch the Ahinoam Association for the Promotion of Equal Opportunities. The founders run various initiatives to bridge social disparities between Israel’s periphery and socioeconomic centre through the organization.
The Ahinoam Association’s initiatives include scholarships for students from underprivileged families and a long-term mentoring program for at-risk youth in the periphery. The end goal of every initiative is to help the younger generations find their footing in Israeli society.
The organization also works for the upliftment of the Ethiopian community in Israel. Also, they’ve implemented various development projects to improve the infrastructure in Israel’s periphery. These include the development of welfare institutions and the establishment of an elementary school library in Safed.
Fundraising During the Pandemic
Eyal Edry’s knack for problem spotting became a saviour for thousands of Israeli students during the pandemic. When schools started conducting online classes, nearly 400,000 students didn’t have personal computers or broadband internet access.
While the government didn’t seem to care about their future, Eyal Edry, Moshe Edree, and Refael Edry stepped up to help these students. They launched a fundraising campaign through the Ahinoam Association, inviting donations from the public. The campaign helped distribute computers to more than 30,000 students.
In the absence of timely help, these students would’ve had to abandon their hopes of pursuing their education. It would’ve taken a toll on their emotional wellbeing and mental development and ultimately threatened social integrity in Israel.
A Long Way to Go
Eyal Edry, Moshe Edree, and Refael Edry have helped thousands of children and adolescents turn their lives around. But the three brothers believe that a significant change is only possible when government authorities empower welfare organizations by delegating budgets and power.
They’ll continue developing and implementing new welfare programs through the Ahinoam Association until that happens. It’s their way of reclaiming a childhood that was cut short due to deprivation and social inequality.