What's New at ALEH Jerusalem?
March 14, 2005
Mar 14, 2005
§ How many wheelchair-bound, mentally disabled 5-year olds living in Jerusalem get to spend Shabbat in… The Golan Heights? Thanks to the love and determination of one of ALEH Jerusalem’s volunteers, two of our precious children did just that. Undeterred by the sheer logistics involved, this wonderful National Service girl arranged for her “adopted child” to spend Shabbat with his family in the Golan Heights, accompanied by the necessary caregiver, medical equipment, endless instructions and of course herself. The trip was so successful that another child followed suit two weeks later, and all those involved felt the effort was well worth the enjoyment and unique experience. When the heart is wide enough, the sky’s the limit…
§ Anyone passing by ALEH Jerusalem one sunny day this January witnessed an eye-catching sight. A Border Guard Squadron, in full uniform, stood hesitantly at the doorway of the facility. The hardened soldiers were suddenly shy and hesitant upon seeing these innocent children, bound to their wheelchairs, waving their hands and uttering sounds that seemed strange to their untrained ears. A mother of two of the soldiers, who works in ALEH and has a child with Down’s syndrome, had put in a great amount of effort to bring the squadron to ALEH Jerusalem. Soldiers are meant to protect the weak and defenseless, and she wanted them to demonstrate their commitment to one of the weakest segments of their society. Slowly, with the encouragement of this wonderful mother and the entire ALEH staff the atmosphere warmed up. The soldiers distributed gifts, bent down, spoke to the children, and took them out for a short walk. By the time they came back, both soldiers and children were smiling, laughing, clapping and bonding. Their promised next visit is eagerly anticipated.
§ Everyone wants to be a giver. When socially disadvantaged youths extend themselves on behalf of disabled children, both parties come out as winners. Every Thursday afternoon, youths from the Beit Zion Blumenthal home for disadvantaged children join the ALEH staff and help the children enjoy a variety of fun and exciting extra-curricular activities. The counselors of the youths have reported a tremendous improvement in their charges’ general self-image, capability capacity, and openheartedness. They see themselves as givers, with something of themselves to offer others. And the children of ALEH are doubly blessed – they receive extra warmth and fun, and at the same time they have given others the greatest gift possible….
§ A new paramedical clinic recently opened to service the special-needs Jerusalem community at large. This major breakthrough enables ALEH’s expertise, experience and high-quality equipment to benefit hundreds of community children annually, helping them minimize their disabilities and integrate in regular educational frameworks The health insurances involved are most pleased with the results so far, and they see the clinic as a symbol of cooperation and understanding between the secular and religious groups in the city.
§ ALEH Jerusalem’s staff members are being treated to various enrichment courses that enhance their knowledge and experience. Our Annual Seminar for Teachers provided training for the teaching staff on the topic of leadership and team management. Paramedical Guidance Courses are being offered on a steady basis throughout the year to the paramedical staff on topics concerning specific treatments as well as long-term development goals. And caregivers are offered lectures on various caregiving-related topics.
§ The pouring rain did not stop people from attending a colorful and exciting winter bazaar held within the ALEH Jerusalem facility. The bazaar was arranged by our devoted extra-curricular staff, who received all the items that were sold as donations from various businesses and private donors. The successful event resulted in a sizeable profit that was completely set aside to cover the expenses of outdoor trips for ALEH Jerusalem children. Some planned highlights: trips to the pool, beach, zoo and spacious and scenic parks.
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