As soon as I entered the maon [day care facility] I could see that it was set up with so many special, homelike touches. The staff was so warm and welcoming, and it was evident how devoted they are to the children. I immediately felt that this was indeed a wonderful place for my granddaughter — and for the entire family.
I feel I must write to you to say just how impressed I am with the great ladies looking after Yuval. Throughout the year he has enjoyed his swimming both with Vardit and at Givat Washington and for this I must say a big thank you to Yael, Batia and Marcelle who have been with him all the way. Yael keeps pushing for Yuval’s swimming and because of her, he keeps getting better.
I visited ALEH’s Jerusalem facility during Gann Academy’s “Exploration Week.” While my high school offered many community service and inter grade programs throughout the United States, I decided to travel to Israel to spend time learning about a few of Israel’s pioneer programs for people with disabilities.
Today was a very special day for me in Israel. I got to revisit ALEH in Jerusalem and introduce my dad and sister to the inspirational facility I visited with my mum last year. ALEH helps an average of 650 people with disabilities everyday; providing living space, life training, and outstanding therapies for everyone who comes to their facilities.
The following are translations of letters written by Sherut Leumi (National Service) girls who serve in the ALEH Negev-Nahalat Eran Rehabilitation Village. The girls, all of whom chose to stay on and help out while the village was under fire, were kind enough to share their feelings and personal accounts of their experiences. These letters were written to Masada Sekely, Director of ALEH Negev-Nahalat Eran.
Today for the first time ever, I considered continuing to work with people with severe IDD next year. It was a great day with a good deal of work satisfaction. I spent a good deal of time with my clients making coronets from branches in honor of Shavuot. I put one on Julia’s head, (I had never before managed to make eye contact with her, she does not speak but walks around moaning and spinning) and led her to the mirror so she could see her reflection. Suddenly she smiled. I had made her happy! And I realized that she was recognizing something from outside of her own world
y now we have become a family. We try to visit Rahma every day. We take her for a walk, read her a story, sing to her, play on the swings, and go to the safari animal petting corner. Mostly we just laugh together and we talk and talk without pause! Afterwards, we help her eat dinner (once she was weaned from the gastro tube, she learned to eat properly and neatly!), we help her brush her teeth, put on pajamas, and then we play peek-a-boo (which makes her laugh so much!).
he people who work in the village were so warm, so helpful, so caring and empathetic to my needs and feelings. Even though I don’t speak Hebrew, we communicated through the language of the heart. The village is truly a unique place that emanates warmth, peace, and calm, and the residents made a deep impression on me. I just regret that I couldn’t stay longer.
I thank you sincerely for allowing me into your home and your world for a short time this morning. It was very nice meeting all the children and the staff. Thank you for sharing everything you are doing for the children of ALEH. It warms my heart to see how happy, content, and well cared for the children are.
I would take the young lads out for coffee or pizza. We would watch football, chat to the locals in the city center and the coffee shop, and just do ‘normal’ things, outside of the framework of the home. One particular resident Naor, is the same age as me. We go out for coffee together, and I see the positive effect he has on the surrounding community. Everyone stops in the street to talk to him. With ALEH, the benefit always seems to be mutual. In fact, I personally probably gained more than they did, as I learned something new, different and – again – truly inspiring, from each and every resident.
8-Jan-07 Corey Visiting ALEH on my Birthright trip provided me with an opportunity to remind myself of my obligation to others as a Jew, how every life matters and is important and significant. Uri Kelman Its amazing what you people are doing Michelle Hoffman What you give these children is amazingly generous, I am in awe Robert Kantor If every … Read More
It is amazing to see the love given to each child, everywhere I went a kid was being hugged or kissed. It is so wonderful to see it.he facility here is astounding, every child that gets to stay here is lucky. It is amazing that you are able to connect with each child using different methods to enhance the child’s life.
I could not believe my eyes. He was so happy and smiling – it seemed like he was in another world of pure heaven! His utter enjoyment of the water brought tears to my eyes – it is not often he is so happy and relaxed. He seemed to find a self confidence and security in the water and in the arms of his caregiver that lifted him both physically and emotionally – the feeling of freedom in the water for him was exhilarating.
We recently had the pleasure of becoming acquainted with your organization through our daughter, Aliza Sohn. Aliza is a bat sherut in your Jerusalem branch. Last Shabbat she brought home as her guest an 8 year-old autistic boy named Daniel (and Gili, another bat sherut). Daniel is a full-time resident of your Jerusalem facility and Aliza has become very attached to him through her work as a teacher’s assistant there. She very much wanted to spend a Shabbat with him at home.
I didn’t realize just how much I was gaining by volunteering at ALEH, however on my last Tuesday at ALEH before I was leaving to return home, I was overcome with sadness. I could not bring myself to say goodbye to all the special people that work there, especially to Ariella and Nechama who I was fortunate to meet and work with. Saying goodbye to Hodaya was even worse. I never thought that a girl who doesn’t speak and often doesn’t acknowledge my presence could have such an impact on me. Well, I was so wrong, Hodaya impacted on my life in so many ways and made me appreciate everything I have been blessed with.
o the ALEH administrative staff, dormitory caregivers and school teachers,
This past week we painfully parted from our precious eldest granddaughter, Liora z”l.
It remains a source of comfort to us knowing that during her all too short life she merited receiving an outpouring of love that even those who live to a ripe old age do not necessarily experience.
Rehabilitative Social Worker, Department of Social Affairs
I would like to express my admiration and thanks for your devoted care of Rachel Singer, whose family I have been working with. Despite all the difficulties and family challenges involved, you and your staff have continued to meet this child’s special needs in the most admirable manner.
Over the year we have seen the devoted kindergarten staff in action. Josh’s smiles also tell us a lot about his feelings toward school. We take this opportunity to say thank you to all the teachers, caregivers and assistants who work so hard with him. Thank you for your patience, your kind words, your notes, and the beautiful arts-n-crafts. May you always be blessed with the strength to continue your holy task.
ALEH’s center is stunning. It is beautifully decorated with colorful pictures and displays everywhere. It has top quality staff and therapeutic activities. But then you look at the children, and they are simply heartbreaking. I couldn’t really do my interview, because I was afraid to talk. I knew if I opened my mouth I would start to cry. But more than what I felt for them, I was just utterly scared. All I could think was that this could happen to me.
An organization like ALEH serves an invaluable purpose to the physically and mentally challenged. The people who work there, who dedicate their lives to these children are the light at the end of a very long, dark tunnel for many of these children. The people of ALEH deserve the highest honor and utmost respect of anyone that is fortunate enough to know about the wonderful, life changing work they do.
Ariella, our cultural activity coordinator, met Akiva, a student of supportive services who helps bathe ALEH’s boys, at ALEH. Their joint interest and concern for the children led them to realize they have a lot in common…and the rest is history. They are getting married this week, and ALEH is honored to carry the title of “shadchan.”
hen we were introduced to ALEH. ALEH is more than a rehabilitation center; it is a home – a supportive, beautiful, caring and warm home, whose mission is to provide multi-handicapped children with a quality of life. ALEH is a home where these children live twenty-four hours a day under the medical supervision and loving care of their professional and highly-qualified staff.
That you have it in your heart also to help others in the work that you do to find their gifting and help them to grow in it to bless their world with it is to me amazing. My profession is towards making material wealth, but that you pursue this cause to help others find the beauty and the joy of being able to give their gift away is beyond wonderful.