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This post wasn’t supposed to be about ALEH. It was supposed to be about how my lovely friend Sally-Ann invited me to a charity dinner organised by the committee she’s on.
Before I got there I couldn’t even remember which charity it was in aid of.
This post was supposed to be about arranging for DD to stay overnight with a friend, getting all dressed up for a mid-week dinner at the King David Hotel (very pish-posh), meeting lots of people I know there (I think I’ve explained about the Anglo community in Jerusalem before – we’re mostly all friends or friends of friends), a fabulous buffet supper (ok, turns out it wasn’t a dinner), amazing entertainment by Nimrod Harel(Master Mentalist – OMG he was incredible!) and basically a thoroughly enjoyable evening.
Then I came face to face with ALEH. I knew about ALEH of course, like you know about loads of prominent charities – RNLI, RSPCC, RSPCA, Oxfam, etc…. ALEH.
Thirty-five years ago a group of families in the centre of the country (that means near Tel Aviv) who each had a severely disabled child, clubbed together to rent an apartment, hired a special education teacher, and amassed a group of volunteers to help give their children the quality of life they deserved, but that is so hard to provide and sustain at home on your own.
On Monday night we heard from Shirat Malach whose 18 year old son, Tuvia, has lived at ALEH for the past 15 years, since he was four years old. One poignant memory she shared was about Tuvia’s eighteenth birthday. The family discussed how they should celebrate but in the end didn’t run with any of the ideas. Shirat said that on the morning of Tuvia’s birthday she couldn’t get out of bed. She couldn’t bring herself to paint on a smile and pretend that everything was wonderful. The family stayed home and did nothing. However, in the evening they were sent photos of Tuvia enjoying a lively birthday party at ALEH, surrounded by his friends and carers. “They did what we could not do at that moment,” Shirat told us. There were few dry eyes in the room.
We saw this video about ALEH:
I spent much of the evening thinking of my blogging friend Candi in Dublin, and wishing that her family and all families who need such a wonderful organization, could have an ALEH.
Thank you Sally-Ann and Tony for inviting me. It was a memorable evening and so important for the continuation of a vital service, saving children and their families from desperate situations.
If you would like to donate to ALEH please visit the ALEH website.
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