SUCCOT AND SIMCHAT TORAH AT ALEH

As in the entire country, the Succot holiday, ending with Simchat Torah, is a time of great joy and celebration at all ALEH’s facilities (Succot is actually referred to as zman simchateynu, the time of our joy).

At ALEH Jerusalem, residents started learning about Succot and preparing Succah decorations well before the holiday began. They even took a trip to the four-species market, to experience the excitement, smells and sights of the holiday. A special set of four species was purchased for the use of residents and staff during the holiday. The residents also enjoyed a special pre-holiday party in the Succah with a group of soldiers training to be officers, who were particularly happy to celebrate with the residents.  Throughout Succot, the Succah at ALEH Jerusalem was open to receive the many visitors who come during the holiday, and for the traditional Simchat Beit HaShoeva celebration.

ALEH Moriah in Gedera also hosted a festive and emotional Simchat Beit HaShoeva, to which residents’ family members were invited, including parents, siblings, grandparents and even aunts and uncles. The center’s yard was specially decorated for the festivities with an exhibition of art made by the residents and colorful carpets draped over the fences. Background music, entertainers of all sorts, and activity stations in which residents and family members participated together, completed the celebration.  A particularly emotional meeting occurred when the newly-wed sisters of one resident brought their husbands to meet him for the first time. A wonderful time was had by all who attended, and we hope that this joy extends into the year.

At ALEH Bnei Brak, the Refuah veSimcha organization helped to hold a wonderful Simchat Beit HaShoeva. The entire street adjacent to the residence was closed off, a stage put in place, and the organization’s in-house singer and musician performed music that added an uplifting atmosphere to the celebration. Volunteers, families, staff and neighbors came to join in the singing and dancing, and to celebrate the holiday with the residents. Additionally, residents were treated to a special animal activity in honor of the holiday. The children enjoyed petting rabbits, ducks, chickens and pigeons, which jumped from child to child, spreading joy and holiday spirit.

For the first time, National-Service girls and volunteers decided to spend Simchat Torah at ALEH Negev-Nahalat Eran, and organized a wonderful holiday event for the residents. A Hassidic band came to play, creating an especially festive atmosphere. Yarden, Cultural Coordinator at the village, summed up: “It was a special and moving event, which brought together employees and volunteers, who stayed at the village for the holiday and organized a wonderfully enjoyable celebration for the residents. Members of the band were so moved by the residents that they asked to extend their performance and also gave residents the opportunity to sing and participate in it.”