Neve Hanna Launches The Torah Project!

Torah logo

New York, May 28, 2019 – American Friends of Neve Hanna (AFNH), the non-profit organization for the Neve Hanna Children’s Home in Israel, launches The Torah Project, an exciting two year project involving a world wide fundraising campaign and interactive educational workshops for the children.  Rabbi Liron Levy of Neve Hanna and Sofer Rabbi Hanna Klabanksy will be leading the workshops at the Neve Hanna Children’s Home, working with the children and staff, on the writing of a Sephardic Torah scroll for the children of Neve Hanna.

The beauty of this project is that everyone can participate.  There is something for everyone.  You can join by sponsoring letters, words, names, or various segments of the text.   The special significance of writing a Torah, is that every ot (letter), milah (word), pasuk (verse), parashah (weekly portion), sefer (book), and shem (name) in the Torah will be sponsored by the friends of the Children of Neve Hanna.  The children will proudly be able to study, read from and carry their own Sefer Torah.  The finished Sefer Torah will be used for the first time at the Bar/Bat Mitzvah Ceremony at the Egalitarian section of the Western Wall, Israel, June 2021.  All donors and sponsors will be invited to celebrate a Siyum HaTorah.

Neve Hanna hopes that each and everyone will participate in this joyous and monumental project and gift of love that is handed down from our ancestors as a means of preserving our precious tradition.  The Torah will be American Friends of Neve Hanna’s gift of love, enabling each of us to transmit our precious heritage to the children.

Neve Hanna Children’s Home is changing children’s lives.  You can too by being a part of the Torah Project.  To learn more about this remarkable project and to participate in this unique opportunity, go to http://www.afnevehanna.org/torah-project.

 

 

 

B'nai Mitzvah

L’Chaim! To Life!

With the passing holidays of Purim and Pesach, we now take this opportunity to check in with ourselves, reflect, set some goals and take stock of what’s coming up in the months ahead.  It is also a time to remind ourselves to live a happier, healthier and more meaningful life.  This is a philosophy we teach to ourselves and to our Children at Neve Hanna.

Here are some quotes and philosophy to ponder on.

A righteous man falls down seven times and gets up.” – King Solomon, Proverbs, 24:16.

Life is all about the ability to get up from challenge. Greatness is defined as getting up one more time than what you’ve fallen down.

“If you don’t know what you’re living for, you haven’t yet lived.” – Rabbi Noah Weinberg, of blessed memory

Life is the most precious thing we have. Everyone wants to live a life of meaning. But we are so busy ‘living’ that we don’t have a moment to really think about living.

“A righteous man falls down seven times and gets up.” – King Solomon, Proverbs, 24:16.

Life is all about the ability to get up from challenge. Greatness is defined as getting up one more time than what you’ve fallen down.

“I don’t speak because I have the power to speak; I speak because I don’t have the power to remain silent” – Rabbi A.Y. Kook

This quote embodies the depth of love every Jew needs to feel for another. The connection between Jews is instinctive, therefore one has no choice but to speak.

“People often avoid making decisions out of fear of making a mistake. Actually the failure to make decisions is one of life’s biggest mistakes.” – Rabbi Noah Weinberg.

This quote inspires me to keep taking the risks I need in order to grow.

“There are no problems, only opportunities for growth.” – Rebbetzin Dena Weinberg

Words are powerful; as soon as you re-frame from “problem” to “opportunity,” you pull down the covers, get out of bed, pull up your boot straps and rise to the occasion. No one wants problems, but who doesn’t want opportunities?

“Torah is not education, it’s transformation.” – Rebbitzen Dena Weinberg

If you are just learning Torah for the education and not growing and transforming yourself, you are not really learning Torah.

And my personal favorite… “L’Chaim!” – a traditional Jewish toast.

Jews appreciate every moment of life. It doesn’t matter if things are going the way you want them, stop and pause, and raise your glass to the delicious opportunity life is giving you right now. You’ll never get that moment back again.

How do you live a healthier, happier and more meaningful life — emotionally, spiritually and physically? Please write us or leave a comment.  We would love to hear your thoughts.

Sandy's Greenhouse

Our Planet, Our Future

Every day is earth day at the Neve Hanna Children’s Home in Israel.  Through education, our children learn there are many things they can do to help improve and protect the earth.

Through the Horticultural Therapy program, our children learn where their fruit and vegetables come from, as well as how much effort, care and natural resources are needed to have them in the end, on our plates.

Over a year ago, our children were involved in our greenhouse project, when we soon realized that we should explore gardening/horticultural therapy for the mental and physical well-being of our children and teenagers.  The children began learning many skills, and appreciate the importance of nurturing their environment and the planet.  While planting and gardening trees and plants, they learned that trees provide food and oxygen.  They help save energy, clean and detoxify the air and help combat climate change.

Together we are changing children’s lives and improving the environment.  Our planet, our future.

Go to http://www.afnevehanna.org to learn more about our children and the remarkable projects and programs we continue to establish.

Neve Hanna Children’s Home is making a difference in the world

The biggest thing in the world is to do good for someone.  The whole idea is to give – to make a difference in the lives of others.  Neve Hanna Children’s Home understands this concept.  Our children are taught the values of Tikkun Olam.  They know the magic and the power in giving to someone else.

Throughout Rosh Hashanah and Passover, the children and young adults are dedicated and passionate in their efforts.  Our children, volunteers, teachers and staff work hard, raising food products, and packing approximately 120 meals of food for families towards the holidays.

Neve Hanna Children’s Home is changing children’s lives and making the world a better place.  Go to http://www.afnevehanna.org to learn more about our remarkable children and this magical home called Neve Hanna.

Happy Purim 2018

Happy Purim!

THE CHILDREN OF NEVE HANNA WISH YOU A HAPPY PURIM!

Your generous gift will:

Help us complete the renovations of the kitchens and dining rooms in the children’s living areas.

Continue to fund our therapeutic gardens and petting zoo.

Support our innovative programs including the “Path to Bread” initiative at our bakery.

Build a darkroom for our new photo workshop.

Help Israeli children from troubled families heal and thrive.

Spread the joy by making a donation today!  Go to: www.afnevehanna.org 

Thank you for your love and support!  Together Changing Children’s Lives! 

 

Bucket List Travel Destination Fulfilled: A Visit to Neve Hanna in Kiryat Gat, Israel By Rabbi Ellen S. Wolintz-Fields Executive Director, Women’s League for Conservative Judaism

Coby and JanetMany people have different places on their bucket list to visit when travelling to Israel, and mine has always been Neve Hanna in Kiryat Gat, established in 1973 under the dynamic leadership of Hanni Ullman, a veteran Israeli educator and recipient of the prestigious President’s Award for Volunteerism. Neve Hanna is named for Hanna Kaplan, a Holocaust survivor who bequeathed money to Hanni to create a family-style home for children in distress. During our recent trip to Israel for Coby Dov’s Bar Mitzvah, I was privileged to mark one of those bucket list destinations off my list – and it will definitely be a repeated place to visit in the future! Since I was a teenager, I have always wanted to visit Neve Hanna, because my Rabbi, Rabbi Benjamin Z. Kreitman, one of the greatest influences in my life, always described it as a magical place that transformed people’s lives and recognized each individual’s needs and challenges. The pictures he showed me were of children with smiling faces, clearly loving their current home. I knew that this would be a perfect place to visit on our Coby Dov Bar Mitzvah mission! Rabbi Kreitman, the Founding President of American Friends of Neve Hanna, never stopped talking about the children who lived at Neve Hanna, who were removed from their homes due to physical and psychological violence, neglect, and sexual abuse, and now live in family-like units grouped according to age. On our recent visit, we were able to see one of the four family-like units, but the approximately 80 children who live there, between the ages of 6 to 18, were all in school. I can say, their rooms were incredibly neat! After school, an additional 45 children come to Neve Hanna for their day care programs and return home every night. One of these programs is a joint Jewish-Bedouin program.

Coby Dov Bar MitzvahRabbi Kreitman praised Neve Hanna for being a warm, loving home environment for the children, which offers support, assistance, guidance and care. During our recent visit, this warmth was definitely conveyed – from the minute we stepped off our tour bus, to the Facebook comments I receive from Rabbi Liron Levy, the rabbi at Neve Hanna, to the delicious cookies we received from their in-house bakery. The in-house bakery, Yeladudes Bakery, teaches children the values of work and imparts to them useful life skills, such as ethics and business management. The children at Neve Hanna learn the art of baking and marketing delicious specialty breads, cakes, and cookies, which are in demand in the dining rooms of Israeli corporations, sold in malls, and served on El Al flights. At Neve Hanna, this is just one way that children are able to grow up to become self-confident and independent adolescents and young adults. Neve Hanna provides group programs and therapies, with the goal of rehabilitating severely traumatized children, empowering them and promoting their educational and social development, while imparting to them the tools to build successful, independent, self-sufficient future lives. All of them receive individual counseling, including art, dance, and animal therapy. Many of the teenagers help run their family units and take responsibility for setting goals and budgets, even earning and saving money for activities like concerts, movies, and trips.

Antje, Janet, Rabbi Wolintz and Rabbi LevyNeve Hanna is recognized under the Masorti Movement as a Kehilla: a loving home in the Jewish Community. Kehilla means community, and that is exactly what Neve Hanna is: a warm community that inspires growth. The children at Neve Hanna are taught Jewish values. They say their prayers before and after meals, join the Shabbat and holiday services, learn about Jewish heritage and tradition, and each one celebrates their Bar/Bat Mitzvah. Rabbi Liron Levy, a graduate of the Schechter Institutes, is employed at Neve Hanna, and prepares the children for the Bar/Bat Mitzvah celebration, an important event with many guests who join the children’s celebration. While we were at Neve Hanna, one of the highlights of our trip was a visit to the petting zoo, where twelve of us in my group got to hold some of the animals – the brave amongst my group! But one activity that all twelve of us participated in, besides the delicious lunch Neve Hanna provided, was a lesson taught by Rabbi Liron Levy about what parts of the body are used to follow the words conveyed in the first paragraph of the Shema. Everyone participated in this lesson and enjoyed their learning. The greatest part of the lesson was having the current co-Presidents of American Friends of Neve Hanna, our own Women’s League past International President Janet Tobin and her husband, Irwin Tobin, join us for the lesson, a special presentation Rabbi Levy made to Coby, our candy-throwing to Coby, and our delicious lunch. Rabbi Kreitman, of blessed memory, was right – Neve Hanna is a magical place. The animals exude love the minute you see them, and the people you meet become family immediately. The food and bakery pastries are delicious, and the values of God, Torah, Israel, are taught. Lives are transformed daily, and mitzvot are lived daily, just by the very fact that such an amazing place as Neve Hanna exists.

Wolintz GroupNeve Hanna is a place that the entire Conservative/Masorti Movement should take great pride in, and we, as part of WLCJ, should, as well, with Janet Tobin as the co-President of American Friends of Neve Hanna. Make sure you arrange a trip to Neve Hanna in Kiryat Gat on your next trip to Israel!