British Emunah's 85th Anniversary Dinner took place recently in London and attracted a record of over 400 guests who heard lavish praise for the organisation and the vital role it plays in Israeli society from the country's Ambassador in the UK , Mark Regev.
Before proceedings commenced the guests stood for a minute's silence in memory of those tragically killed in Pittsburgh two days earlier.
Dinner Chair Michelle Plainer, in highlighting the Sarah Ronson Crisis and Intervention Centre in Sderot, one of British Emunah's 37 projects in Israel, spoke of the constantly urgent and growing need for Emunah's services in the Gaza Periphery, necessitating a move to a much larger site, for which funds would hopefully be raised during the event. She welcomed World Emunah Director Shlomo Kessel and World Emunah Vice - President Judy Cohen.
UK Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis spoke of British Jewry's pride in the essential work British Emunah has carried out over its many years of existence, supporting thousands of families and individuals.
Vadim Lvov (Lovv), 32, who grew up in The Sarah Herzog Children's Home in Afula following his mother's murder in Latvia by his father, made the central appeal of the evening accompanied by his wife, Tobi. He was featured in a film showing his return to visit the grave of his mother and reciting Kaddish there, with the support of Emunah and a senior staff member. He credited the organisation with giving him a home, an education and support as he grew up to study for a degree in Industrial Engineering. He was now in a position to "give back" to Israeli society.
Ten youngsters from Emunah Afula, who were on a unique visit to London and being hosted by British Emunah members, attended the dinner and sang Hatikvah with the Emunah choir.
Emunah Montreal is directing the proceeds of their recent Gala Dinner to Emunah Israel's innovative social clowning program. While medical clowning is well established internationally – including in Canada – social clowning is something new.
Medical clowns typically make one-time visits to sick kids in hospital. These social clowns have ongoing contact with children and youth who have been removed from difficult homes and are considered at risk.
“The aim of Emunah’s residential care network is to break the cycle of dysfunction and distress, providing the children and teenagers with the skills they need to form healthy, productive relationships and, ultimately, establish their own loving and stable families,” states the organization’s website.
World Emunah Director Shlomo Kessel, who was also at the Gala, said that, “The children connect with the clowns because they are non-threatening, non-judgmental. They don’t probe. They will talk to them often when traditional therapy does not work. They open up about emotional issues and difficult things that have happened to them, such as sexual abuse, that they won’t do even with a psychologist.” Read the Full Article on CJN here!
Lights, Glitz and Times Square, New York....what could be better? The Emunah of America Gala Dinner, held Sunday, November 11, at the PlaysStation Theater on Broadway, was the place to be last week. Attended by more than 500 people, the event was a true celebration of the power of "Believing in Israel's Future." The evening's activities were a well-balanced mixture of informative, vibrant and upscale, all at-once. Attendees saw and heard passionate stories about Emunah Israel and the tremendous impact it has had on the people of Israel, for over 80 years. The team, led by Laurie D. Szenicer, Director of Emunah of America, worked tirelessly to assure a good time was had by all! Guests left the evening committed to joining the "family" and getting more involved in the vital work of Emunah.
Dozens of student villages have been established in recent years around Israel in which hundreds of university students live and participate in social and volunteer activities in the community, parallel to their studies.
One of the most important villages in this program was established at the Emunah Achuzat Sarah Children’s Village in Bnei Brak. a home for children at risk who have been removed from their homes by the order of Israel's Social Services.
25 students, members of Bnei Akiva have recently moved to Emunah Achuzat Sarah and will create a warm and loving environment for a 100 children from elementary school to High school.
The students tutor the children and manage to create a personal relationship with them, give them a shoulder to cry on, help them with their homework, run activities and try to create a loving and familiar atmosphere.
Ayelet Schussheim, student of Occupational Therapy at Tel Aviv University is starting her second year in the Emunah Achuzat Sarah Students Village: “the student village gave me not only a roof, but the opportunity to give and receive so much”
Sarah Charatz, student of Special Education says: “it’s a warm and welcoming place. Among other things we sit with the children for private lessons and have Shabbatonim together with various social activities throughout the year and we, as adults, learn and receive e a lot from the children”
Summary of Yediot Acharonot Article by Tamar Chaddad