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Neve Hanna Children's Home

Neve Hanna Children Alumni — Success!

Throughout the years, there have been many successful alumni born out of the Neve Hanna Children’s Home. With a nurturing and supportive family environment, Neve Hanna has offered many of these young people, the chance to grow beyond the circumstances from which they emerged.  Hundreds of children have attended Neve Hanna. Many go onto building successful careers and raising healthy families. They – and we – are justifiably proud of their accomplishments.  Here are some our remarkable former children of Neve Hanna. 

Meny was born in 1986, in Kiryat Gat. He grew up in a family with five siblings. When he was six years old, his parents divorced. Following the divorce, the economic situation of the family was anything than easy, and in addition, his mother had a hard time functioning as a single parent, and taking care of her children.  A few years later, when Meny was nine years old, he came to Neve Hanna, where he grew up in the Parparim family group.  Together with him, another brother grew up at Neve Hanna.  When Meny was 16 years old, he learned that he was much better with practical-manual work than academic studies.  Therefore, he joined the staff of the Bakery, where he worked until he was drafted to the Israeli army.  In the IDF, he served for three years in the prestigious Givati Combat Unit.

After he finished his army duty in 2007, he worked in different jobs.  He was also employed by bakeries due to his experience in the field of bread baking. In 2010, the Yeladudes Bakery of Neve Hanna employed Meny.  He quickly became an important backbone of the professional staff of Yeladudes.  Neve Hanna itself is proud to be able to give former children an employment opportunity.  For Meny, who married in 2009, and at the time, with a young daughter and son, it meant having a steady job, enabling him to support his young family.  He also pointed that his job means he can give a little back to Neve Hanna, which he still considers his home and a vital part of his own life and family. Meny has since retired but is still active with his Neve Hanna family.

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Ricky was born in Ashkelon in 1980, and arrived at Neve Hanna, at the age of four, together with her sister and brother.   Their mother and father had a hard time functioning as parents.  Looking back, Ricky points out that Neve Hanna is her family and home — the only home she has.  This was not because Ricky and her siblings arrived at a young age, but due to the fact that Neve Hanna was the only place, where they all felt secure and loved.

At the age of 18, Ricky was supposed to leave Neve Hanna, but found the idea of moving back in with her parents unbearable. Since Neve Hanna was well aware of the situation, it was decided to help Ricky even after he reached maturity. During their time of National Service, Ricky and her sister were allowed to stay in a small apartment at Neve Hanna.  Besides her National Service in Kiryat Gat, Ricky volunteered in the afternoons and evenings in a family group of Neve Hanna. During that time, the leadership of Neve Hanna realized that Ricky was able to give the children a lot of nurturing, love and affection, and and helped them personally grow, because she could relate to their problems.  Ricky was soon sent off to take exams in order for the leadership to evaluate, if she really would fit in as a housemother.  Surely, Ricky passed these exams with excellent grades.
Ricky began working at Neve Hanna as a housemother in the summer of 2000, only a few weeks after she married.  Her husband, who had no prior connection to Neve Hanna, began a few years later, as a youth worker with the children of Neve Hanna.  Today, both work in the group, Re’im. Together, with their three children, they live at the premises of Neve Hanna, being there for all their children, practically around the clock.
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Baruch, an alumni of Neve Hanna, was born in Moldova and his family immigrated to Israel when he was 6 years of age.  Due to his family’s difficult socio-economic situation, a mentally ill mother and a father who left their family when he was 3 years old, Baruch was fortunate enough to be brought up in Neve Hanna.

When Baruch arrived at 10 years of age, he was in very poor mental and physical condition.  Neve Hanna welcomed him with a warm and loving embrace, and gave him not just home but also hope.

The devoted and kind care, and exceptional education Baruch received from the staff and especially the headmaster, Mr. David Veger, instilled within him life long values and lessons which made Baruch who he is today.

Thanks to the unique educational system implemented in Neve Hanna, from the start, Baruch was recognized for his artistic skills and was provided with all the means needed in order to develop his skills and grow.

If not for Neve Hanna, Baruch would probably have ended up in one of the local gangs that were part of the environment where he grew up in Ashkelon.

It has been almost 37 years since Baruch first came to Neve Hanna, and he has never forgotten that special place that was more than a home.

For Baruch, Neve Hanna is an essential part of his identity and a guiding light on his path in the world. Thanks to Neve Hanna, Baruch has lived out his dreams and does what he loves.  Over the years, he has payed it forward through various volunteer and philanthropic activities for children in need.

Baruch is eternally grateful for Neve Hanna, especially to Mr. David Veger, and Mrs. Hani Ullman the founder of this special and magical place.  From the bottom of his heart, he thanks Neve Hanna.

Neve Hanna, AEPi and SACHI making a difference in the community!

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AEPi

KIRYAT GAT, ISRAEL, September 2019 – As part of the Rosh HaShana Mitzvah, members of AEPi, AFNH patrons, Heddy Belman and husband, Michael, together with the staff and young leadership at Neve Hanna Children’s Home, participated in the SACHI Program. Together they helped make a difference for dozens of needy families.

k640_whatsapp-image-2019-10-02-at-20.17.19-1-e1570372591908.jpgAs part of the SACHI Program, participants help supply groceries to families in need.  They take care of all the logistics and the planning, the purchase, the packing of the parcels with basic food supplies as well as the distribution. Over major holidays, like Rosh HaShana and Passover, they begin a much bigger campaign, encouraging participation of the other children, as well as the staff of Neve Hanna.  Through donations and packing for such holidays, they supply about 120 families.

SACHI (Sayeret Chesed Yechudit – Teenage Welfare Club) began at Neve Hanna Children’s Home in Kiryat Gat, thanks to the initiative of a staff member.  SACHI later expanded and became a nationwide youth program with the founding branch at Neve Hanna.

Neve Hanna, AEPi and SACHI together changing many lives!  Go to http://www.afnevehanna.org and learn more about all the remarkable programs and projects we continue to accomplish!

Heddy Belman To Be Honored

Heddy BelmanAmerican Friends of Neve Hanna honors Heddy Belman on November 17th at Pine Brook Jewish Center, New Jersey. 

Heddy Belman is a valued member of the Board of American Friends of Neve Hanna. She serves as the Chair of the Development Committee working diligently to engage Foundations and obtain Grants to support programs needed for the children of Neve Hanna.

She was born in Quito, Ecuador, to wonderful parents who were survivors from Rumania. My parents journey, with the help from an aunt and uncle, in America, took them from Bucharest to Paris to Equator, because the US was not excepting such immigrants at the time.

Dad z’l was a lawyer in Europe with a doctorate in political science, and her Mom z’l studied medicine.  Each had to adjust and reinvent themselves a few times and on a few continents before ultimately coming to America.  Facing many challenges along their way, their main mission in life was to make her life beautiful.

As a result of their examples, Heddy did well in school and graduated from Hofstra University with a degree in linguistics and education. She worked and taught in the business world successfully and raised a beautiful family, with her awesome husband Michael. They continue to fill their lives with love, pride, joy and gratitude!!!

Throughout her American journey, Heddy has always treasured her involvement in the Jewish community. After joining Pine Brook Jewish Center in 1985, she served on many committees in varying capacities. She is also a Board member of Women’s League for Conservative Judaism, AZM, MercazUSA and served as a delegate to the last WZO Congress.

During a recent trip to Israel, Heddy and Michael visited Neve Hanna in Kiryat Gat and saw how the Children’s Home provides love and support to children from disadvantaged homes. Over decades, it has literally changed children’s lives and helped raise them to be productive, loving and successful adults.

AFNH recognizes and honors Heddy and looks forward to many years of friendship and service.

 

 

Bat Mitzvah Experience Shared

Kiryat Gat, Israel, July 2019 – Co-Presidents, Janet and Irwin Tobin, spent an incredible day with Rabbi Liron Levy and our four Bat Mitzvah girls, Diana, Inbal, Tair, Oren and May, the Israeli volunteer, who was also Bat Mitzved.  They chatted all morning and the girls spoke freely about their families, what it means to become a Bat Mitzvah and their future dreams and the wonderful year they completed studying with Rabbi Liron.

Their Bat Mitzvah discussions centered around how they could remain a child while start taking on responsibilities of adulthood. Rabbi Liron stressed that they should choose a mission most important to them and incorporate it into their lives, adding more responsibilities within time.

The girls started with awareness and caring for others– being especially conscious, making sure that they treat their flat mates and each other respectfully. This expanded to include others that are different from themselves to better understand other perspectives. They are being attentive to a young man, with special needs, that was hired to work at the Petting Zoo and the in-house bakery. They expanded their horizons by visiting a Druze community and met Israelis that are not Jews. They also interacted with a group of blind people and were astounded to learn how well they function with everyday life.

The girls enjoyed talking and telling Janet and Irwin that if they put their hearts along with much effort and education, they could achieve their dreams. One girl wants to become a Veterinarian. She loves working with the animals and now that she became a Bat Mitzvah, she is permitted to work at the Petting Zoo. Another wants to be a doctor, another a kindergarten teacher and a soccer player. They included Janet and Irwin in the discussions, wanting to know how they met and all about their children, grand and great-grandchildren.

Upon completion of their year of study, they excitedly recapped many celebrations – parties and trips. Last February, a trip to Mt. Hermon, where they saw snow for the first time and even enjoyed one of the simplest pleasures, making and eating snowcones with juice. Followed with dinner at a Rosh Pina restaurant ordering whatever their hearts desired. In July, the finale, a trip to Eliat to swim with the dolphins.

For their Bat Mitzvah gift to Neve Hanna, the girls requested making ceramic clocks for each of the flats. This was inspired by their love of making mezuzahs (Hiddur Mitzvah Project) last year.

The girls requested that Janet and Irwin attend the Bat Mitzvah rehearsal, for the ceremony, that took place July 11 at the Egalitarian section of the Kotel. They also practiced their song and dance that they will preform at their Bat Mitzvah luncheon party.

The day Janet and Irwin spent with these very special Bat Mitzvah girls was one of the best days they ever had on a visit to Neve Hannah – just tops. Their expressions of joy and excitement, for the present and future, is an experience Janet and Irwin will never forget and continue to talk about way into the future.

Cameron Fields, Young Leadership Chair

When Cameron Fields was given the opportunity to intern this summer at American Friends of Neve Hanna (AFNH), as our Young Leadership Chair, she practically jumped at the offer.  Giving these children, from disadvantaged homes, a stable home where they are loved, given proper nutrition, work experience and lifelong friendships is something truly special.  Having this opportunity to spread awareness about Neve Hanna and the amazing things they do, was something very exciting and important to Cameron.

As the Young Leadership Chair, Cameron’s main goal is to inform her family, friends and community about what Neve Hanna does, and the important impact they make on children’s lives. Cameron raises awareness about Neve Hanna through social media and teaches at USY (United Synagogue Youth) convention study sessions.  She has been getting the word out to her community, that everyone should become more involved and support the Neve Hanna family.

In January 2019, Cameron had the remarkable opportunity to visit the Neve Hanna Children’s Home with her family.

Cameron writes:

The minute our bus pulled up to Neve Hanna’s campus, I could feel the love that Neve Hanna radiated. From visiting the Petting Zoo, attending a class with Rabba Liron Levy, followed by a delicious lunch, I began to discover what Neve Hanna was all about.  We ended our day by playing a family basketball game and we all had a blast.

Cameron is an active member of USY and has been involved in Kadima (USY’s program for pre-teens). She has served on the Freshman Leadership Committee and the Religion Education Regional Board.  For the past four summers, Cameron spent a month at Ramah in the Rockies.  At camp, she was a member of the Jewish Outdoor Leadership Institute (JOLI), where she was Wilderness First Aid certified and was able to lead study sessions and be a CIT (Counselor in Training).

American Friends of Neve Hanna is pleased and proud to have Cameron Fields a part of the Neve Hanna family.  Thank you Cameron for all you do. Together, we are changing children’s lives.

Go to http://www.afnevehanna.org to learn more about all the remarkable programs and projects we continue to accomplish.

SACHI – Nationwide Youth Program

SACHI (Sayeret Chesed Yechudit – Teenage Welfare Club) began at Neve Hanna Children’s Home in Kiryat Gat, thanks to the initiative of a staff member.  SACHI later expanded and became a nationwide youth program with the founding branch at Neve Hanna.  At the AIPAC Policy Conference last March, the SACHI Program was featured as a new innovative program at the beginning of one of the plenary sessions.

Teenagers from the age of 13 years on, can join SACHI, operating according to the motto:  The best thing in the world is to do good deeds for others.  The teenagers of Neve Hanna, who are usually at the receiving side, are learning about the other side—giving.

Teenagers joining, have to commit to social and welfare activities, setting examples of social activism, tolerance, mutual respect, giving and sharing as well as friendship.  Through the SACHI activities, the teens from disadvantaged backgrounds, learn more about young leadership qualities.

Currently, 15 Neve Hanna teens are involved in SACHI.  The participants meet twice weekly for educational and social purposes, as well as for fun activities intended to strengthen group dynamics.  What began with seven teens in Kiryat Gat, now encompasses approximately 400 teenagers in 15 clubs throughout several cities in Israel.

As part of the SACHI program, the participants help supply approximately a dozen needy families in Kiryat Gat, with groceries.  They take care of all the logistics and the planning, the purchase, the packing of the parcels with basic food supplies as well as the distribution. Over major holidays, like Rosh HaShana and Passover, they begin a much bigger campaign, encouraging participation of the other children, as well as the staff of Neve Hanna.  Through donations and packing for such holidays, they supply about 120 families in need.

SACHI youth also help people with disabilities, the elderly, the downtrodden and Holocaust survivors with shopping, chores and home repairs. They visit hospitals and nursing homes.

Neve Hanna Children’s Home is helping make a difference in the lives of others, the surrounding community and changing the world.  Go to http://www.afnevehanna.org to learn more about all our remarkable programs and projects. You too can be a part of the movement.

Torah and Me…searching for a personal meaning

American Friends of Neve Hanna is happy to announce that Rabbi Liron Levy and the scribe will begin holding workshops prior to Rosh Hashana.  There will be a symbolic ceremony, with all the children and staff, to begin the writing of the Torah.  The next series of workshops will be titled Torah and Me…searching for a personal meaning.  The final workshops are for the B’nai Mitzvah class on how to write the Torah and learning the art of the unique calligraphy.

When the Torah is about to be completed, each child will have an opportunity to write a letter, under the guidance of the scribe.

Go to http://www.afnevehanna.org/torah-project to learn more and become a part of this special opportunity and project.  You too can help make a difference in the lives of our children. The proceeds from the Torah Project will be used for the therapeutic programs, leisure time activities and holiday events.

Neve Hanna Children’s Home is Changing Children’s Lives!