Today there was a terror attack against Israel. A bomb was left on a bus in the Tel Aviv area. At this moment, there are major injuries, but thankfully there have not been any casualties. The security alert within the Tel Aviv area and its surrounding areas has been raised to a level four. This attack greatly impacts that country as a whole as well as our daycare centres, schools, and youth villages. In response to this terror attack, officials have ordered schools and daycare centres to keep the children inside until they are given further notice.
Three of CHW’s daycare centres are directly impacted by the event that took place today. The Sandy Martin Alberta Daycare Centre, the Rose Dunkelman Daycare Centre, and the Judy Mandleman Vancouver Daycare Centre have to abide by this order. The children are no longer able to continue on with their normal daily activities. Usually, the afternoons are filled with playing outside; however, today, this will be far from the reality. The staff is faced with the difficult of explaining to these children why they are no longer able to go outside.
The daycare centres are receiving ongoing phone calls from concerned parents ensuring that their children are okay.
This is no way to live. Unfortunately, it is becoming the way of life here in Israel.
One of my favorite things about being the Canadian-Hadassah WIZO’s Israel Liaison is meeting the donors and CHW members when they visit Israel. Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Frank Kettner to accompany him to the Sandy Martin Alberta Daycare Centre. Raheli, the manager of the daycare centre, talked with us about the amazing programs and activities at the daycare. As an added bonus we were served delicious cakes and refreshments! Do you see why the visits are my favorite part of my job?
Mr Frank Kettner and Raheli
The daycare centre hosted many fun activities including puppet theatre, singing, dancing, and arts and crafts. The children, as always, were excited to meet new people. They were especially playful during this visit! We had a wonderful day.
The children doing arts and crafts
This was also a great opportunity to meet a fellow Canadian AND an integral part of CHW. I enjoyed getting to know Mr. Kettner and would love to invite fellow CHW members to come to Israel to visit one of our projects.
For more information, please go to our website: www.chw.ca
This summer, Rose Kenee Youth Center hosted their annual summer day camp. The director of the youth center, Tomer Daveret, says this summer was one of the best ever. Over 100 children aged four to ten participated in the camp! The center organized exciting activities for the children including a visit to Lunar Park, Israel’s amusement park. For many children, this was their first time at an amusement park! This will no doubt be a cherished memory they will keep with them for the rest of their lives. I love to imagine all the kids laughing and screaming in delight, as they spend the day running from ride to ride!
Rose Kenee Youth Center kids get ready to go to Lunar Park!
As anyone who has visited Israel can attest, we experience incredibly hot summers. Our children spent much of their time at camp eating ice cream and playing in pools to beat the heat! The most rewarding aspect of our summer camp is the combination of fun activities and education. While children do arts and crafts, they also read. While children swim, they also practice improving their strokes.
Summer camp attendees enjoy ice cream on a hot day
The youth center runs a leadership program throughout the school year. As part of the program, the youth centre members become camp counselors at the summer camp. Tomer described to me how wonderful it was to see the counselors grow into their positions. All the counselors took their jobs very seriously and ensured that all of the children were safe, happy, learning, and included in all the activities. Tomer felt it was the counselors who made the summer as great as it was!
Arts and Crafts!
Summer camp in Israel is the same as it is elsewhere in the world, full of learning, new friends and the unique joys of summer!
Kids having fun with their summer camp counselor
This week we had a very special visit from Canadian Young Judaea to four of our daycare centres in Israel. This was the first time Canadian Young Judaea had visited CHW projects and we were delighted to show them a good time! The managers and staff from Sandy Martin, Clara Balinsky, Rose Dunkelman, and Judy Mandleman Daycare Centres planned amazing programs for the 120 participants. For many of these young participants, this was their first time in Israel. They were so grateful to have meaningful interactions with local Israeli children.
Arts and Crafts Time!
First, the participants were greeted with cold refreshments and cakes. They were ecstatic to begin the day with the regular morning activities of singing and dancing! And the children were excited to have such wonderful visitors! The CYJ participants ended their time at the centres by joining the children for arts and crafts. The art was Jewish-Israeli themed, which included making a Magen David, hamsa, and a dove.
Bonding without language during morning activities
As the majority of participants do not speak Hebrew and the children do not speak English, it was incredible to see their abilities to easily move past the language barrier and communicate with one another. The room was filled with so much talking and laughter!
Before the participants left, they gave new art supplies to the centres, something that they can never have enough of! The managers and staff were so touched by the generosity of the group and expressed their appreciation for the present as well as their visit. The children gave each participant a special token to remember their visit… the art work that they made together!
One participant remarked that this was his favorite day of the trip so far. Pamela Libfeld from Toronto summed it up aptly, “Every child around the world is the same, they all want the same things; to be loved and cared for. It doesn’t take more than a bit of your attention to make children happy, and it is the most rewarding feeling to see smiles light up their faces. I had an amazing experience and I hope to return to Canadian Hadassah-WIZO soon.”
At play on the playground!
We are so pleased that Canadian Young Judaea was able to visit four of our daycare centres. We look forward to welcoming Canadian Young Judaea back in the future!
Here are some beautiful comments made by CYJ participants after their visit:
Thank you so much for having us at your daycare the other day. It was amazing to see how well our chanichim interacted with your children, and reading about their experiences really shows the impact your organization has on kids of all ages. It’s easy to see how special that place is and we are all grateful to have been a part of it, even if only for a short period of time. - Robert Ludwick (Montreal, Canada)
Volunteering through Camp Biluim Israel gave my trip to Israel a greater meaning and allowed me to expand my perspective on children and how they interact. I enjoyed singing, playing, and bonding with the three-year-olds that have so much to offer. The Hadassah-WIZO’s positive atmosphere and attitudes radiating from the children and teachers made the experience of spending a day with young children even more phenomenal. - Stacey Weltman (Toronto, Canada)
For me, one of the most rewarding parts of being on Biluim Israel is being able to exemplify the values of our movement, Canadian Young Judaea. On of these values is Tikun Olam, repairing the world, which in this case was volunteering at a children’s daycare centre operated by Hadassah- WIZO Canada. There is something so special about being able to see these kids enjoying themselves, and being able to partake in their happiness. Through various activities’ such as music, and arts and crafts, these children can get a well rounded Jewish education, and be cared for in a fun environment. It’s clear that they enjoy every moment as they were eager to sing, and include us in their colouring. I am honoured to have been able to see our work in Canada in action. I would go back in a heartbeat to volunteer again. Toda Raba!- Mark Kachuck (Toronto, Canada)
This summer, Biluim Israel was fortunate enough to spend a morning with a young group of children from Hadassah WIZO Daycare Center. The way the staff at the facility immediately included us into their classroom environment allowed each of us to make close connections with the children and develop relationships over the span of only a couple of hours. Even with a language barrier between us and the children, we still found ways to communicate, play, and enjoy our experience. This opportunity displayed to many of us the importance of building relationships among the Jewish communities around the world; it truly had a positive impact on my summer.- Leah Brown (Toronto, Canada)
As a participant of Biluim Israel this summer, I find myself lucky to have had the chance of spending the morning with kindergarten kids from Hadassah WIZO. The kids within this daycare were filled with joy, happiness and laughter. Having the opportunity to share a morning with them was an experience I will never forget. Although there was a large language barrier between the Biluim campers and the Hadassah WIZO children, it was not enough to stop the energy and excitement throughout the morning. The love, enjoyment and happiness was visible on everyone’s faces and had a great effect on both the Biluim campers and the children from Hadassah Wizo.- Marni Elman (Toronto, Canada)
Volunteering is a unique experience. It was extraordinary how me, a Canadian, and the Israeli children formed a special bond. At the age of 17, I can honestly say that I’m going to miss my childhood. This gave me one more opportunity to be a kid again so I want to thank the children for that. I’ll never forget them. - Amanda Noyek (Toronto, Canada)
This week we celebrated Tu B’Av, the Israeli version of Valentine’s Day. What makes this holiday different from Valentine’s Day is that it is not only a romantic holiday. Tu B’Av is a time to be with all of your loved ones, from family to friends! On this wonderful holiday, you show your loved ones how much they are cared for. Everyone comes together to celebrate their love!
On Tu B’Av I like to reflect on the many lives that CHW touches. At our daycare centres we provide a home-like environment for children. At Hadassim Youth Village and Nahalal we provide secure and loving places for children and teenagers. At Hadassah Ein Karem Hospital and Assaf Harofeh Medical Center we ensure patients and families receive care and comfort. At our shelters and the Calgary Bat-Yam Women’s Centre we provide a warm, welcoming, and safe place for women and the elderly.
At CHW we strive to provide love and care to children, teenagers, women, and the elderly. It is wonderful to see all the love and warmth on this holiday and to know that CHW has a large role in ensuring that people throughout Israel are receiving the same treatment! Tu B’Av reminds us of the special people that we have in our life and how lucky we are!
Children celebrate Tu B’av at the Sandy Martin Daycare Centre in Ramat Hasharon.
A mother with her two children who underwent IVF at Hadassah Ein Karem Hospital.
A life without love is like a year without summer. - Proverb
Summer is definitely here, both in Israel and in Canada! I am sure we all remember summer days as children; spending all day outside, playing in the sun, running through the sprinkler and enjoying a refreshing ice cream at the end of the day! Things in Israel are no different! This week, I visited the Sandy Martin Day Care Center where, I was able to join in with the children excitedly playing outside and thoroughly enjoying the warm summer sun!
The children were busy on the new playground that was donated by support from CHW! It filled my heart with such joy to see the children having so much fun; laughing, climbing, and sliding on their new playground! The manager, Raheli expressed to me the pleasure she feels when the toddlers enjoy themselves like this. Especially, she adds, because it is nearing the end of the year and the children have grown, developed, and learnt so much! Like all our day care centers at CHW, the Sandy Martin Day Care Center takes so much pride in their children!
On behalf of CHW we would like to wish everyone a wonderful and safe summer!
Ben, an affectionate toddler, who attends the CHW Terry Scwartzfeld Ottawa Daycare Centre. Recently, it was discovered that Ben suffers from a degenerative eye disease, which will lead to his eventual blindness. Because of this, Ben receives one-on-one assistance so that he can participate in activities with the other children; he also recieves guidance to help him with his disability. As Ben’s family suffers financially, the daycare staff sends home leftover food, bread and vegetables; also advocating for the family when needed.
A typical evening at home, like many other Israelis I found myself plopped on the couch watching TV, unwinding from the day that was. I flipped channels until I came across “The Voice” Israel.
Four hugely successful recording artists, all from different genres were sitting with their backs to the singer and would turn around in the event that they thought the performer was truly talented and showed potential.
All of a sudden I notice two young men walk on to the stage, one with a guitar in hand. They begin signing together Idan Raichel’s song; Sheriyot Shel Hachayim in beautiful harmony. Just as I begin to notice how exquisitely they were singing, the judges start slamming down on their buttons in order to turn their chairs around and who these talented guys were. All four judges turned around to see them, and guess who they saw? Two graduates from CHW Hadassim School and Youth Village: Yahel Doron and Guy Mentash!