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Blanketed with Love
Feb 1, 2012
Yeshiva of Flatbush always showers ALEH’s children with an outpouring of love – but recently, they also blanketed them with warmth – literally!
Continuing its traditional of an annual visit to ALEH, a group of some 60 students and staff from The Yeshiva of Flatbush Joel Braverman High School stopped by the branch in Jerusalem, aiming to share their spirit with disabled children. And share they did!
The group, led by Rabbi Naftali Besser,met first with Rachel Fishheimer, principal of ALEH Jerusalem Special Education School, for an overview of ALEH’s mission and goals, and to gain a better understanding of its special population. Afterwards, they divided into smaller groups, with everyone having the opportunity to join in vocational workshop activities, help out in classrooms, and enjoy the newly renovated Gymboree exercise area. As they stood alongside ALEH’s children, taking part in their daily activities, The Flatbush students were able to gain a deeper appreciation for the challenges faced by the disabled, every day.
The classroom and vocational workshop activities were centered around growth and renewal in nature, focusing on autumn and Tu B’Shvat – the Jewish arbor day. The crafts they created reflected those themes, and all pitched in for some beautiful and colorful results!
The Flatbush group certainly brought loads of energy and an obvious show of care. But in addition, they also brought beautiful necklaces, which they handed out to all the staff members, and two big duffle bags filled with toys and games, appropriate for the different ages and level of function of ALEH’s residents.
Three inspired students added their own personal touch to the gift-giving. Pauline Maleh, Rachel Erani, and Renee Saff have been taking a crocheting class all year long at their school in New York. They knitted two beautiful blankets which they brought and donated to the babies unit.
“I am so happy that I gave our blankets to such an awesome and inspiring organization,” said Rachel. “The people who work here are just heaven.”
Pauline agreed. “It felt extremely accomplishing giving blankets that were made in our crochet club to such special children who really deserve it. What the volunteers [and staff] are doing here is amazing and courageous.”
And Renee added: “Being able to give the children some blankets that we spent a full year making really had an impact on me. Although learning how to crochet and learning how to actually make a blanket was very tough, my hard work paid off when the children smiled at us!”
There is no doubt that the visit uplifted the students as well as ALEH’s children. Watching the excitement of our children and hearing from the students how thankful they are for the opportunity to be part of such an inspiring experience says it all. As one student put it: “We look forward to visiting every year!”
On behalf of everyone at ALEH, we thank our special visitors from The Yeshiva of Flatbush for looking beyond the disability to the child within, and for bringing warmth and love to our special children. We are already looking forward to next year’s visit!
If your group or school would like to visit ALEH’s children when you are in Israel, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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