Lighting up ALEH: Chanukah 2019
The eight days of Chanukah were jam packed with activity at all four of ALEH’s residential and rehabilitation facilities throughout the country. Parties, trips, games and guests from Israel and abroad lit up the days and nights for students, residents and staff in Jerusalem, Gedera, Bnei Brak and the Negev.
In Jerusalem, extended families of residents joined in the preparations for each night’s event and candle lighting ceremony, adding to the general family atmosphere that regularly pervades the center. Students from the Mevaseret Yeshiva, representatives from the Detective Unit of Jerusalem’s Lev HaBira Police Station, Border Patrol soldiers, Or Michael volunteers, youth from a number of towns around the country, 9th graders from Ulpanat Holon, girls from Bina Seminary, and more all made their way to ALEH Jerusalem during Chanukah to sing, dance, party and have fun with ALEH residents.
Officers of Lev HaBira emphasized how privileged and proud they felt to spend time at ALEH Jerusalem and take part in the festivities, presenting staff with a Certificate of Appreciation for their dedication and devotion and promising to continue visiting and participating in future ALEH activities.
The various divisions of ALEH Moriah in Gedera were a hub of non-stop activity throughout the holiday, at times joining to together for all-inclusive fun. Over and above their regular duties, ALEH’s amazing National Service girls found time to organize an outstanding happening for all residents and students, including game stations, music and dancing. Another exciting activity saw counselors dressed up as dreidels of various sizes, taking part in a show that emphasized equality for all. A non-stop parade of guests included El Al financial division employees, police officers from the Yavneh Police Station, Ro’i and Liron Rashti who kept up their traditional dreidel distribution and more. Residents’ families were constantly on the scene, participating in the various parties and joining in the fun and games.
Off-campus holiday activity included a special Chanukah party and candle-lighting event at the home of Yaki Sa’ada , director of Givat Washington Educational Center for ALI program participants, as well as older girls from ALEH on the Horizon homes. Residents spent a cultural day at Cinamatek Tel Aviv, trying their hands at different theatrical equipment, after which they enjoyed a special Shadow Puppet Show performance, “There’s No Such Thing as Dragons”. The following day, residents embarked on yet another outside trip sponsored by the Lotem Foundation for Accessible Nature to the Raanana Park, followed by fruit picking at a nearby orange grove.
At ALEH Bnei Brak , well known singer Inbar Tabib, no stranger to ALEH residents, visited Beit Yahalom for a special Chanukah show, singing and dancing with students and staff. Bank Leumi wasn’t far behind, arriving with 20 volunteers from the bank and their own keyboardist who made sure to keep the party going strong. The younger generation also got into the act as an amazing group of 8th graders from Ulpanat Holon decorated the entire ALEH Bnei Brak building, setting the scene for another fun-filled party with games, food and more music and dancing.
As part of ALEH’s groundbreaking Tikkun Olam program, high school students from Ulpanat Tzfirah and Yeshivat Tzvia in Petach Tikva visited ALEH Bnei Brak to bring more Chanukah joy. Following lectures and workshops about the importance of acceptance and inclusion, the students took residents to the park for an outdoor party, with more dancing, singing, fun and games. Partying to the end, on the last day of Chanukah, a group from Revava took residents out to enjoy a Chanukah happening with more games, stands, music and food taking place near the center.
Every day of Chanukah was party day at ALEH Negev-Nahalat Eran with special candle lighting ceremonies, family, guests and volunteers. A group from Activities for Others from the Eshkol Regional Council came for the first night of Chanukah, and for the second day extended families, friends and volunteers joined residents at their village homes. The third candle was lit in front of the Rehabilitation Center as special education kindergarten and school children hosted visitors from the JNF Roots Israel program, dancing and singing together for a true holiday atmosphere. Participants in the Therapeutic Gardening program organized another holiday event, “Bringing Back the Light,” in which they summarized their yearly activity and gave out drinks of juice made from their own, village-grown fruits.
Other visitors to ALEH Negev-Nahalat Eran included volunteers from Bank Leumi and Bank Hapoalim, each of whom came to share the holiday atmosphere with village residents.
And of course, during the entire week of Chanukah delicious sufganiyot (jelly doughnuts) were enjoyed by residents, family, staff, volunteers and visitors at all four ALEH centers.
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