20 Years of success at ALEH Gedera!!

“I THANK THE CREATOR FOR HONORING ME WITH THIS BLESSED WORK” 

Naama Sudkewitz, Director of ALEH Moriah in Gedera, at a moving evening to mark the 20th anniversary of ALEH Moriah’s establishment

Some 400 people participated in a moving evening, held earlier this week, to mark 20 years since the establishment of ALEH Moriah in Gedera. Naama Sudkewitz, Director of ALEH Moriah; Rabbi Yehuda Marmorstien, Director General of ALEH; Rabbi Shimon Rabinowitz, member of ALEH Moriah’s Board of Directors; Major General (Res.) Doron Almog, Chairman of ALEH Negev-Nahalat Eran; Gidon Shalom, Senior Deputy Director in the Ministry of Welfare; Avi Wortzman, Director of ALEH Negev-Nahalat Eran; and Yoel Gamliel, Mayor of Gedera, all attended the event, which was held at the Weizmann Institute.

In the course of the evening, certificates of honor were presented to Yoel Gamliel, Mayor of Gedera, and to veteran volunteers Shai Moskovitz and Hillel Artzi, from the Tel Nof base. Singer Yishai Ribo provided the evening’s musical entertainment.

To open the speeches, Rabbi Marmorstein pointed out that “’Moriah’ is the name of the mountain on which the Temple was built, and it is natural that the ‘ALEH Moriah’ Center in Gedera is home to 110 children, who are angels, and is called ‘Moriah.’ Moriah is as its name implies, a public sanctification of G-d, a place that stands at the top of the mountain and is a prime example of people who devote their lives to helping society’s weakest members – it’s a place full of inspiration. We began this special journey towards the establishment of the ALEH Moriah Center some two decades ago, together with Israela Nevo z”l, the first director of ALEH Moriah who, although she did not live to be with us tonight, deserves much of the credit for the establishment and operation of the center. Other partners that joined us at the beginning of the journey were the Ministry of Welfare, the Rashi Foundation, current MK Elie Elalouf, the National Insurance Institute’s development funds, the UIA, and many others. We are all here for those pure souls, ALEH’s children, and our vision is not only to give them good lives and loving homes, but to integrate them into the community, to dissolve the walls of stigma and strengthen the love of every person, whoever they may be, within the community. The more we succeed in integrating people with disabilities, the stronger and more powerful a society we will become.”

Naama Sudkewitz, Director of ALEH Moriah, thanked the audience for coming, saying: “I would like to thank the Creator for giving me the opportunity to lead this blessed operation. To Chaim, my husband and partner who always stands by my side, supporting, encouraging and enabling me. To my adult children Reut and Maayan, who are with us here, and to the youngest of them – Omer and Noam – who support me and help in building our family life. To my parents, Shifra and Amnon, who are honoring me with their presence, who planted the love of man and of the other within me, and in whose home I absorbed the values that have shaped my life, day by day, hour by hour. I have the great good fortune to have been brought up in a family for whom generosity and helping others were a part of life. I am proud that this legacy is being passed down to our children as well.”

Israel Prize laureate, Major General (Res.) Doron Almog, whose son lived at ALEH Moriah for nine years, and in whose name the ALEH Negev-Nahalat Eran Rehabilitative Village was later established, noted that “ALEH Moriah in Gedera has founder’s rights, for they were the pioneers in treating people with special needs, together with the Ministry of Welfare, without which we wouldn’t have been able to establish this massive enterprise. We thank our son Eran – this Friday we will be marking a decade since his departure from us – who continues to be my greatest teacher, and I hope that children like Eran, his frail friends who are dependent on our benevolence, will continue to be the great teachers of all humanity. Eran made me into a better, more humble man, with less ego and less arrogance, and I hope that, as he “taught” me, that the one percent of children like him in society will teach the remaining 99% to become better people. Our connection, as parents, to ALEH Moriah began with our distress when Eran was born with autism and an intellectual disability, and when a new center was opened in Gedera and Eran was accepted there, we felt as if he had been accepted to the most prestigious university in the world – I will never forget that.”

Yoel Gamliel, Mayor of Gedera: “I am happy that I met the leaders of ALEH – Rabbi Yehuda Marmorstein and Maj. Gen. (Res.) Doron Almog, who have dedicated their lives to this incredible undertaking, and I salute Naama Sudkewitz for the holy work that she does on behalf of these children. We have been blessed to have you among us and, with G-d’s help, we will be able to open a school for the children of ALEH Moriah.”

Gidon Shalom, Senior Deputy Director in the Ministry of Welfare, who has been in ongoing contact with the center in recent years, pointed out that “I decided to present my blessing through the Ministry of Welfare’s employees, because the hard work is done by the people who, on a daily basis, toil for the benefit of those who most deserve to receive the best possible support and assistance from them. Thus far, the Ministry of Welfare has invested some 250 million shekels in ALEH Moriah, and if we could, we would give more. I thank Naama, who has directed the center fearlessly for years now. This center is continuously developing and pushing forward, and over the last years, has done a great deal in the field of inclusion in the community. We see incredible development in this area.”