The new school year is underway! After a fun-filled and educational summer camp, the students were excited to resume their engaging and enriching schedule at Keren Hayeled. Their return was accompanied by a festive and heart-warming reunion between students and staff, including a beautiful welcome mural prepared by the staff for the children.
And in order to enable the children to get the most out of their school year, while also fostering the continuity of their relationship with their families as much as possible, and their families’ relationship with Keren Hayeled, we have already held our first parent events. The highlight this year was our first, inaugural Fathers-Daughters Event, which was hugely successful in encouraging this sensitive and essential part of young women’s lives. This is particularly so for girls such as these from such troubled backgrounds, who dressed so nicely in honor and in anticipation of their father’s arrival.
The fathers first toured around the newly-renovated courtyard with its leisure furniture, fitness equipment and recreational facilities – all of which add so much to the girls’ quality of life.
We then continued inside the building to show the fathers the recent, nearly-completed renovations of an entire floor, which is the first phase of renovating the entire dormitory. The fathers took particular interest in this project and even made clever recommendations which we hope to incorporate in the future.
Administrators Leah Davidowics (L) and Rabbi Meyer Godlewsky (R) guide the fathers through the recent floor renovations.
The entire group of fathers, daughters and staff then met in the dining room for a rich meal lovingly prepared and richly decorated by the girls themselves.
It was so touching to see each daughter at the girls’ table tend to her father’s comfort at the men’s table. This also gave the fathers an opportunity to socialize with each other, which offers them a form of mutual support.
During the meal, the staff members addressed the fathers, and discussed the challenges and rewards of their mutual task of guiding their daughters to a life of Jewish values, fulfillment and stability. The lively discussion and positive interaction between staff and fathers was both unexpected and refreshing.
After these bridge-forming introductions, the group enjoyed a specially-prepared Keren Hayeled production which presented the agenda of our boarding school and goals for the girls during the coming school year.
The fathers event concluded with a performance by Ofer Halevi and Company, who entertained the fathers, daughters and staff with an amusing and motivating performance which inspired everyone for a new year of growth.
The mothers event was similar to that of the fathers, but took place on the opening day of school in order to facilitate the girls smooth transition into their studies. Afterward, they also enjoyed a beautiful and festive meal together, followed by a variety of shared activities around the grounds and throughout the facilities of the boarding school.
And to enhance the new school year’s beginning of rejuvenation and growth, in the spirit of Elul and Rosh Hashanah, we later made a special trip to pray at Rachel’s Tomb, the Kotel, the grave of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef ztz”l, culminating in the famous midnight Selichot service at the yeshiva of Rabbi Reuven Elbaz.
Events like these are such an integral part of Keren Hayeled’s goal to guide these underprivileged children to become healthy, stable and productive members of society. Please contribute generously to these efforts and thereby invest in a brighter future for Israel and the Jewish People.