Twenty-two members of Bnei Akiva youth movement spent two weeks in Afula, northern Israel, volunteering at Emunah’s Sarah Herzog Children’s Centre, a home for disadvantaged children. Their visit heralds the third year that Bnei Akiva, the UK’s largest Jewish youth movement, has run its Kaytana scheme at the Emunah children’s home, showing first-time Madrichim (leaders) another side to life in Israel.
The participants, who are aged 16 or 17, were chosen from over 100 applicants from around the country and those taking part come from Hendon, Finchley, Edgware, Stanmore and Borehamwood, as well as from Manchester and Leeds. Living on campus at Emunah’s Sarah Herzog Children’s Centre, they befriended the young people and helped staff with activities and outings.
At a briefing before they left the UK the group of volunteers were addressed by British Emunah representative Mindy Wiesenberg. She said: “Bnei Akiva is a wonderful organisation and I am proud of you for giving up two weeks of your time to help children who come from very different backgrounds to your own. These children cannot live in their own homes because the situation is too difficult: either they are dysfunctional or they have been emotionally or physically abused. Some have parents who are addicted to drugs or are in prison, while others have no parents at all.
“We also look after those with special needs, and have activities and therapies that enable all of the children to enjoy as normal a life as possible. There is basketball and sport; an art room, music therapy and a petting zoo, and we take them swimming. Over 100 children live at the home and a further 100 attend daily programmes.
Mrs Wiesenberg went onto explain that Emunah is one of the largest social welfare organisations in Israel and that the charity British Emunah helps to fund 36 of the 200 projects and services. She added: “You will be guided by the staff and the councillors as how to interact with the children; language is not a barrier – and they will all benefit from friendship and a smile. We quite literally transform lives and you will be helping to make a difference.”
Co-leaders of Bnei Akiva Kaytana scheme were Rachel Gaon, 21, and Aaron Wunsh, 20, who were helped by Hannah Myerson, 19. The project represents many months of planning by the three, who are volunteers. They have been liaising with Shlomo Kessel, director of the Emunah centre in Afula.
Rachel Gaon said: “My role is to make sure that Kaytana is a structured volunteer programme that will benefit participants and create confidence and boost self esteem. It is very different to camp because the emphasis is on learning how to interact with a group of children who may not be initially receptive and being able to take cues from staff and Sherut Leumi (national service) volunteers. Our goal is to create the next generation of leaders who will take responsibility for the community while observing traditional orthodox Jewish values.
“Teaming up with Emunah is a win, win situation. Kaytana is an opportunity for Bnei Akiva Madrichim from all over the country to come together to gain valuable experience and training while helping to care for some of Israel’s most vulnerable children.”
A short film made by Hannah Myerson showing just what Kaytana was like is available to view by clicking here.Read More
Former FA chairman David Bernstein addressed an audience of 60 people at Emunah Gentlemen’s Lunch Club at La Fiesta in Golders Green. Introduced by Peter Sheldon, the distinguished guest spoke about his dual careers in football and business, and his lifelong passion for Manchester City. This was followed by a Q & A session on subjects such a goal line technology and the likelihood of England winning the World Cup. Thanking everyone, charity director Deborah Nathan said the men’s support was “vital because Emunah is not just a women’s charity.” Event organiser, Leonard Klahr, was delighted with the record attendance and announced that the next Gentlemen’s Lunch will be on March 31st when the guest speaker will be Lord Leslie Turnberg on “Defending Israel in the House of Lords”.
To book your place please call Alison Cohen on 020 8203 6066 or email Alison@emunah.org.ukRead More
Join Emunah for a Bridge Lunch – and enjoy good company, a delicious lunch and great Bridge! Hosted by Suzanne Zamet and Jennifer Hanison. Totteridge venue.
Advance booking is essential.
Donation £45 per person.
To reserve your place please call Alison on 020 8203 6066 or email Alison@emunah.org.uk. To pay online for your tickets please click here.Read More
Purchase the beautifully designed Purim Cards, (supplied by the Esther Cailingold Group) and help to change the lives of Israel’s children in need.
The cards are available in packs of 6 for a donation of £10.
The design feature a picture of children from Emunah’s Sarah Herzog Children’s Home in Afula, dressed in costumes ready to celebrate Purim. The back of the cards features the following message:
‘In your honour and in the spirit of Purim a contribution has been made to Emunah’
There is also space for you to write your own message.
110 children live at the Afula home with another 90 attending a daily programme there. The children come to Afula for a variety of reasons – backgrounds of neglect and abuse are common, with some children coming to Emunah because of the effects of illness, drug abuse or domestic violence.
The proceeds from the sale of these Purim cards will help Emunah provide support to the vulnerable children who attend our 36 centres.
To order your packs of cards please email email@example.com or call 0208 203 6066, with details of how many packs you would like. An additional charge for postage may be added if you need the cards to be sent to your home, otherwise they can be purchased and collected from our Head Office in Hendon.
Purim Sameach – Happy Purim!Read More
Following the London and Manchester heats, we are delighted to announce that 13 fine young musicians have been chosen to perform in concert on Sunday 9 March at the Royal Academy of Music at the competition finals of Emunah Young Musician of the Year 2014. In addition, seven talented singers will compete for the title of Emunah Young Music Theatre Singer.
Congratulations to everyone who took part in the heats. The adjudicators were extremely impressed with the high standard of the entries once again. You are all stars!
The Showcase Concert will be at 2.30pm on Sunday 9th March at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Tickets must be booked in advance. For more information or to book tickets please call 0208 203 6066 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Scroll down for list of London and Manchester finalists:
Louis Isaacs, 12, Saxophone
Jodie Bloom, 9, Saxophone
Leo Appel, 14, Violin
Olivia Ter-Berg, 17, Harp
Joint Runners up:
Leora Cohen, 15, Violin,
Aviva Sharp, 10, Violin
Alessandro d’Orazio, 10
Masha Vasileyva, 9
Leora Cohen, age 15
Elizabeth Kandelaki, age 10
SINGERS CLASS I
Amber Lily Jacobs, age 14
Emma Sherrard, age 12
SINGERS CLASS II
Ilan Galkoff, age 10
Alana Bain, age 13
SINGERS CLASS III
Brady Isaacs Pearce,13
COMBINED CLASSICAL CLASS
Winner: Nicolas Veal-Baschwitz, 11, piano
Joint Runners Up:
Ben Silberstein, 14, Violin
Mark Englander, 13, Piano
Winner: Justine Saville, 16
Pictured below some of the London Finalists. More pictures from both Heats to follow soon!Read More
Entry to the 2014 Emunah Young Musician 2014 competition is now open! Are you the person to follow in the footsteps of 2013 winner, violinist Amos Sharp? This year we have £500 prize fund (kindly sponsored by Wienerworld) to be shared between the overall winner of the competition (£300) and the winner of our new category: Musical Theatre Singer of the Year (£200).We are looking for talented young musicians and singers aged 8 – 18 to take part in this competition which is held in conjunction with the Jewish Chronicle.
London Heats will be on Sunday 2nd February 2014. Manchester Heats will be on Sunday 9th February 2014. The Showcase Final Concert will be held on Sunday 9th March 2014 at the Royal Academy of Music.
For photos and a report on last year’s competition, please click here.
Photo of Amos Sharp – Credit John Rifkin.Read More
Please support our Rosh Hashanah campaign and help transform the lives of children who have suffered abuse and neglect. Click here to donate today.Read More
Young Emunah invites you to dinner….and there is MURDER on the menu!
We have only 2 places left for men, we are SOLD OUT for women! – so call Laura (07903 413634) to secure you’re place.
Prepare yourself for a night of drama, laughs and questions (and it’s a Jewish event so of course there will be food – a 2 course meal).
We look forward to seeing you on the 18th July for a night to remember!
Date: Thursday 18 July 2013
Venue: SOYO, Golders Green
Minimum donation per person: £30
RSVP Laura@emunah.org.uk or call 07903 413634 to book your placeRead More
On top of Ben Nevis!
Alison Cohen & her husband Adrian are completing a very special challenge for British Emunah - they are climbing the three tallest mountains in the UK – in 3 days! Click here to sponsor them.
On top of Scafell Pike – 2 peaks down, one to go!Read More
Twelve-year-old JFS pupil and Liverpool fan Naftali Wolfson visited every Premiership League football ground in the space of 48 hours to raise money for Emunah. Having visited the children’s home in Afula last year, Naftali decided to twin his Bar Mitzvah with Emunah. 110 children live at the Afula centre and another 90 attend the daily Together with his family, he has raised £11,000 to restore the home’s unusable football pitch and repair the playground.
Team Wolfson – comprising Naftali and his parents Danielle and Jonathan – left their Mill Hill home on Saturday night (4th May) for their whirlwind Bank Holiday challenge.
Memorable moments included an Emirates Stadium behind-the-scenes tour where Naftali gave a “press conference” and had fun on the Arsenal pitch. At Chelsea, he sat on Rafa Benitez’s seat – wearing his Liverpool cap! He went onto the pitch at Everton and at Stoke City, he sat in the manager’s seat. He sat in Aguero’s seat in Manchester City’s dressing room and Roberto Mancini’s seat in the dugout. But at Old Trafford, he was the only football fan not having to rush into the Manchester United Stadium for the match.
Naftali’s “best bit” was at Anfield during half-time where he met Ian Callaghan and Phil Neal (aka Naftali’s daddy’s footballing heroes). He received an “unbelievable selection of signed photos and signed shirts” and a special certificate with congratulations and best wishes from Liverpool Football Club.
The family set up a dedicated Facebook page where they posted photos of Naftali at each venue and gave a running commentary. Naftali was also pictured at Southampton, Reading, Swansea, West Bromich Albion, Aston Villa, Wigan, Sunderland, Newcastle, West Ham, Fulham, QPR and Tottenham.
The fundraising includes more than £3,000 raised by uncle Tristan Nagler, who ran the Virgin London Marathon. A further £20 was raised by Naftali’s five-year-old sister Sigal though a tuck shop sale at Mathilda Marks Kennedy School. Naftali also has another Emunah fundraising project shortly to be completed – he is collecting his body weight in coins.
Last stop for the Wolfson family’s Premiership Football Challenge was on Monday night where the family received a warm welcome from Emunah at Wembley Stadium.
Naftali Wolfson said: “I am happy and proud that I’ve finished my Premiership Marathon. I’ve had an amazing time but Liverpool will always be my number one club!”
Emunah Director Deborah Nathan who said: “We’ve enjoyed following all of your adventures over the weekend – you are a really special family. Thank you for supporting us and for coming up with so many incredible fundraising ideas.”
If you’re inspired by Naftali’s amazing adventure and still want to sponsor him please click here to visit his fundraising page.Read More