Bnei Akiva teenage volunteers visit Afula

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.

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Gan Yachad Pedal Push raises £400!

Gan Yachad in Finchley held their annual pedal push for British Emunah on the 22nd June and raised £400 to support our pre-school home literacy campaign which is running across all 135 Emunah Day Care Centres in Israel. Gan Yachad parents and children you are amazing! Thank you to the very wonderful  Reva Ross for organising it once again.

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Summer Fun at Emunah Afula!

For privacy reasons we often can’t show you the faces of the children we care for in our residential centres in Israel. This can make it hard to really show you the work that we do. This photo can be shown – and it gives you a great idea of the wonderful summer programme the children at the Sarah Herzog Children’s Centre in Afula are enjoying now. They are having a ball! Providing a whole summer of activities for the 150+ children now their school term has finished is a challenge and an expensive one at that. Click here to donate to help us raise the £20,000 we need to provide summer activities for ‘at risk children at the Sarah Herzog Children’s Centre and at Neve Landy Children’s Village in Even Shmuel.

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Team Emunah are all winners at the Maccabi GB Community Fun Run!

Two residents from Emunah’s  Sarah Herzog Children’s Centre in Afula; Sharon Solomianik and Haim Nagosa, both 17 years old, came to the UK for the Maccabi GB Community Fun Run thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor.   Sharon, originally from the Ukraine placed 9th in the 10k race with a personal best time of 46 minutes. Haim (originally from Ethiopia) finished in just over an hour. Both boys have enjoyed a few days in sightseeing in London and have been looked after by a host family in Edgware. The boys trained hard  for the 10k and took part in the 10k at the Jerusalem marathon in March in preparation for their trip to England and the Maccabi GB Community Fun Run. British Emunah director Deborah Nathan introduced the boys and their counsellor Shira Cohen from Emunah Afula and World Emunah Director Shlomo Kessel to Israeli Ambassador HE Mark Regev.

Speaking after the event Deborah Nathan said, “The boys have shown resilience and dedication in their preparation for the race and we were proud to cheer them across the finish line. We are grateful to all of those who joined ‘Team Emunah’ taking part and fundraising to support the 12,000 disadvantaged children in Emunah’s  centres across Israel.

Participating for us this year were the Year 6 running club from the Independent Jewish Day School in Hendon. The children completed the 5k race together with Headteacher Rabbi Coby Ebrahimoff.  We are also delighted that the JFS pupils who went to Israel with the Lavi programme and who volunteered every week at the Emunah home in Afula, where Sharon and Haim live, have taken part today and are raising funds for us.  Every participant has helped us to transform the lives of the children in our care and we thank them all.”

Donate now by clicking here.

Here are some photos from the day!

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Come and see Absolutely Fabulous the Movie – and fundraise to bring the Afula Kids to London again!

Join us on Monday 4th July 2016 to see Absolutely Fabulous the Movie – it will be a wonderful night darling!

Book online by clicking here or call 020 8203 6066

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IJDS Running Club team up with Emunah for Maccabi GB Community Fun Run

Members of Independent Jewish Day School’s Year Six Running Club, set up by head teacher Rabbi Jacob Ebrahimoff to encourage healthy living, are doing the Maccabi GB Community Fun Run for Emunah.  The pupils, aged 10 and 11, are currently at the 5k mark but are hoping to build up to 10k by June 19. “We are so grateful to the pupils, staff and parents of IJDS for joining with Emunah to help Israel’s vulnerable children,” said British Emunah Director Deborah Nathan.  To support their efforts, donate by clicking here.

In the photos with Deborah Nathan are World Emunah Director Shlomo Kessel as well as IJDS Headteacher Rav Ebrahimoff and IJDS Assistant Headteacher Lady Deborah Kestenbaum and members of the running club.

Photos by John Rifkin

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Save the Date! British Emunah Annual Gala Dinner 2016

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Join children from the Emunah Afula Children’s Centre in Israel and take part in the Maccabi GB Community Fun Run 2016

This year join Team Emunah and participate in the Maccabi GB Community Fun Run on Sunday June 19th.  Register to take part for Emunah and we will help you fundraise to help disadvantaged children at our centres in Israel.  We are bringing two children from the Sarah Herzog Children’s Centre in Afula to join Team Emunah.  They are great kids who are training hard and who will be enjoying a trip of a lifetime to London.  Please join with us and make this an exceptionally memorable day.

Click here to register and we will be in touch to help you raise sponsorship.  Please note that the registration fee does not come to Emunah.  That goes to Maccabi GB – so we need you to raise sponsorship to help our children in Israel.  Many thanks!  Please contact us at British Emunah Head Office  by calling 020 8203 6066 or emailing, if you need any more information about taking part.

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This Pesach please help Emunah’s ‘Four Sons’ and all the children in our care

Emunah’s Neve Landy Children’s Village in southern Israel is home to boys who are emotionally disturbed through abuse, trauma or neglect.  As we read about the ‘Four Sons’ in the Haggadah, please spare a moment to consider some of the troubled and vulnerable children who rely on Emunah’s expert care every day.

This Pesach, please give what you can to help provide a better future for Emunah’s ‘Four Sons’ and the 12,000 boys and girls in our centres across Israel. Click here to donate now.

Images and names have been changed to protect identities.

Noam is 12 and both his parents are drug addicts.  He was two years behind in his school work when he first came to Neve Landy as he’d been staying at home to look after his three siblings.

Thanks to Emunah’s specialist educational support at Neve Landy, Noam is now catching up and is achieving great results at school.

When he is older he would like to be a scientist.

Avi, 13, came to Neve Landy with a history of fighting, truancy and anti-social behaviou.  His father had abandoned the family when Avi was four. As he grew up, his mother couldn’t cope with his wild mood swings and violent behaviour.

Emunah gives Avi the counselling support he needs to be able to heal from his traumatic past, avoid youth prison and live the happy life that he deserves.

Daniel was placed at Neve Landy st the age of seven. He had been sexually abused by a relative for several years and became withdrawn and unresponsive.

After four years of Emunah’s care at Neve Landy Daniel is learning to trust adults again and is now starting to be able to express his emotions.

He particularly enjoys gardening therapy, working in the greenhouse supported by expert staff.

When social services found Tal wandering in the street hecould hardly speak.  He was a feral child, wild and scared.  His mother was located, too drunk to care where her son was.

Aged just six, Tal is one of the youngest children living at Neve Landy.

Emunah counsellors and speech therapists are working with Tal, helping him to heal from the neglect that has blighted his young life.

Emunah’s Neve Landy Children’s Village is a residential home that provides vital therapeutic support for 74 children from the ages of six to 17, who suffer from severe behavioural and emotional problems.

For many of the children this is their last chance of a normal life.

Neve Landy is one of three residential children’s homes supported by British Emunah.  We also help disadvantaged children via a network of high schools, family support and day care centres as well as trauma and therapy counselling services.  Emunah in Israel cares for 12,000 children and British Emunah supports 37 projects.  We can only do this with your support.

Thank you.

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Enjoy challenging yourself for Emunah – like Alison Cohen did in last year’s London Marathon!

You may have seen in last week’s JC  that this year’s London Marathon is on second day Pesach so we we won’t have any runners taking part for Emunah.  This will mean we are missing out on vital funds that our runners normally raise.

You can still help Emunah to transform the lives of ‘at risk’ children in Israel by either taking on a challenge event in 2016 yourself or sponsoring others who are.

Flora is power-walking again for Emunah’s children

Marathon veteran, great-grandmother Flora Frank is once again taking part in the Jerusalem Marathon in March 2016 and would appreciate donations to Emunah. Please support Flora in her incredible physical endeavour.   Flora you are a star! You can donate to support Flora online at

If you would like to take part in the Jerusalem marathon – either the full distance or 5k or 10k, there are still places available and you would be supported in your efforts by our colleagues at Emunah in Israel. Call us on 020 8203 6066 to find out more about taking part in the Jerusalem Marathon.

Support Claire as she tackles another challenge for Emunah

Claire Gothelf from Leeds bravely ran in the London Marathon for Emunah last year and was featured in the Jewish Telegraph newspaper (pictured).  Now Claire is running again for Emunah, this time in the Tel Aviv Half Marathon on 26th February 2016.  Donations in support of Claire’s efforts can be made online at

Bnei Akiva Torani participants are running again for Emunah

Once again some of the wonderful gap-year students taking part in the Bnei Akiva Torani programme in Israel have decided to run 5k or 10k for Emunah in the Jerusalem Marathon.  The Torani group visited the Sarah Herzog Children’s Centre in Afula in October 2015 and spent Shabbat with the children there.  This has inspired many of the group to run for Emunah.  Those taking part are Eli Davila, Keren Davis, Akiva Fink, Sammy Flasher, Oscar Koslover, Gadi Melcer, Dov Seitler and Malka Weissler.  Thank you all!

You can sponsor the Bnei Akiva Torani runners by visiting their individual justgiving fundraising pages or via the Emunah website

Take up the challenge yourself in 2016

Emunah currently has places available in the following challenge events in 2016. Get involved and do something amazing!

Vitality London 10,000 Race on Bank Holiday Monday 30th May 2016

There is still time to enter this 10k run and fundraise to support Emunah’s work for children in Israel. Contact Head Office for help registering for a place.

Maccabi GB Community Fun Run on Sunday 19th June 2016

Come and enjoy this family friendly community event - and join children from the Sarah Herzog Children’s Centre in Afula, who will be taking part in the race too.  For the first time we are bringing three children from our home in Afula to take the challenge with us.  They are training now for this exciting opportunity to visit London and to take part in this event. Join Team Emunah, get sponsored to take part and come and run, walk or toddle with the children from Afula!  It will be a unique and special experience. Call us on 0208 203 6066 to find out more.  Everyone in Team Emunah will receive a t-shirt, fundraising advice and all of our support!

Ride London on Sunday 31st July 2016

Get on your bike for Emunah! We have places available to take part in this great event. With leg-testing climbs and a route made famous by the world’s best cyclists at the London 2012 Olympics, it’s a truly spectacular event for all involved. Contact Head Office if you are interested in taking part.

If you know anyone who would like to take on a physical challenge – please pass this email on to them!

Thank you for your continuing support for British Emunah.

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And the 2016 Finalists are…..

Book your seats now for the Showcase Final Concert on Sunday 20th March 2016!

Following the Northern Heats on January 28th and the London Heats on Sunday 7th February we are delighted to announce that the finalists for the Emunah Young Musician and Young Singer of the Year competitions are as follows:



JOHN GALLANT                        VIOLIN

JAMES HARVEY                        CLASSICAL VOICE




MARK ENGLANDER                  PIANO

SIMON HANASSAB                   PIANO

ELEANOR VOAK                       TREBLE RECORDER

ZOE STEINBERG                         CLARINET













To book tickets for the Showcase Final concert at 2.30 pm on Sunday 20th March 2016 – which will also feature a performance by last year’s winning musician Poppy McGhee, as well as the presentation of the Sara Freedman Woodwind award and the Steven Isserlis Cup for use of music for a charitable purpose, please click here.

Adult Premium Tickets are £35, Adult Tickets are £25 and Child Ticket ( under 16) are £15.  Book soon to be assured of your place.

Below are some pictures from the Manchester and London Heats.

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