Neve Hanna In-House Bakery
Neve Hanna children come from low socio-economic families where neither parent worked. As they are unaware of the importance of work and self-reliance, we decided to establish an in-house bakery that would serve as an educational tool. The bakery, established in 2000, operates 5 days a week. 35 teenagers work at the bakery in the afternoons. To be hired, they submit a CV, prepare for a job interview and receive recommendation letters from teachers and social workers. They work in rotating shifts at various functions: dough preparation, baking, packaging, cleaning, marketing and supervising expenses and income.
Teenagers’ weekly work hours range between 5 to 10 hours, according to age and therapeutic program. Wages are based on teenagers’ age and are paid at the end of the month, teaching them to plan wisely. Teenagers are involved in all aspects of bakery work including decisions on new product lines and new cookie flavors, allocation of profits for enrichment activities that benefit all Neve Hanna children, etc.
The in-house bakery is an integral part of daily life of the children’s home. Founded as an educational project with self-supportive aspects, it offers the children the chance to work at the bakery; from preparing dough to the baking process. They also learn professional aspects of running a business.
The teenagers are accompanied by professional instructors both in the theoretical and practical field. Studies include:
- Business management – budgeting, product design, entrepreneurship and marketing.
- The craft of Baking – essential food elements and components, principles of healthy nutrition, principles of mixing ingredients and health regulations.
- Visits to other factories and industries as well as small businesses.
At the bakery, children can explore their hidden talents and experience success. Not only is their self-esteem boosted, but they also learn more about personal and social responsibility, as well as the relevance of self-sufficiency and productivity. At the same time, they are exposed to professional aspects of baking bread and running a business; from preparing dough to the baking process as well as work routine, time management and marketing.
The former children of Neve Hanna employed in the bakery have integrated into different sections of the business, among them a boy named Meni who grew up at Neve Hanna from the age of six on. Meni left at the age of 18. Following his army duty, Meni is who now a father of three, returned to work in the bakery and advanced to become the head baker of Yeladudes. He became a role model for many Neve Hanna children.
Special baked goods that come out of the loving hearts of the children at Neve Hanna.
The Yeladudes Bakery has opened an online store. (Sorry, only available for those in Israel.) Specialty breads, cakes, cookies and crackers as well as Lachish olive oil, green olive spread, artichoke and pesto spread and other special dips. They do gift baskets for every special occasion and create delicious memories at special events. Visit their online store.
The coronavirus pandemic fallout inspired a miniseries, produced by Menachem and Tehiya Horowitz. The Neve Hanna interview aired prime time on July 15, 2020 on Israeli Channel 12. Watch the video to experience the feeling and see the beautiful renovated bakery and the delicious baked goods for sale.
The bakery has become an occupational opportunity for both Neve Hanna youth who dropped out of school and for those who graduated from Neve Hanna. The bakery also serves educational purposes. Children learn to be punctual, to work in a clean and organized environment, to assume responsibility and work on a team. They get positive reinforcement, discover hidden talents and capabilities and live through positive experiences based on their personal achievements, all leading to a boosted self image.
Along the years, the bakery has answered and won many tenders, among others to supply pastries for the business class of “El Al”, Israel’s national airlines. Learn more about their teaching bakery at www.yeladudes.org.il/
Tzedakah – Giving to the Poor
The bakery has an additional educational and social value as Neve Hanna youth working there put aside 10% of their income as a donation. They buy products for Shabbat, package the food and anonymously leave at the door of certain poor families in Kiryat Gat. In this way children learn to give to the less fortunate, since we believe that even the less fortunate, who are themselves in need, are obliged to care for week members of our society.
This project includes:
- Coordination of the work in the bakery.
- Supervision of the work in the bakery.
- Salaries of the teenagers.
- Therapy in order to further process the values learned in the bakery.
- Work clothing.
- Seminars and courses.
- Expenses for trips and teaching materials.
- Education of Neve Hanna graduates who returned to work with us.
- Coordination of all matters connected to the Tzedakah project.
Read this lovely article, A Good Deed: Yeladudes Bakery at Rabin Medical Center