In 2001, Neve Hanna founded a boutique bakery named Yeladudes. Hanni Ullmann and Dudu Weger, Director of the Children’s Home for almost 40 years, founded the bakery thanks to a generous donation. During the initial stage, Neve Hanna had to improvise a lot, even though they could rely on a Swiss baker master volunteering during the first years of the in-house bakery. Yeladudes grew over the years to a middle sized company with a professional staff, among them former children of Neve Hanna. The bakery produces a number of high quality whole wheat bread and pastries. Some years ago, Yeladudes was ranked by the Israeli gastronomic magazine “Al HaShulchan” (On the Table) among the best bakeries in Israel. As a project combining educational aims with a professional business enterprise contributing to society, Neve Hanna and Yeladudes have been awarded several prestigious awards.
The Neve Hanna 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 of a glimpse into the adult world of productivity, but also to learn basic professional as well as social and leadership skills. 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.
About 35 children of Neve Hanna have jobs in the bakery in the afternoons, from a few hours per week up to daily obligations of teenagers. The money they earn can be spent according to their wishes, yet another learning process of growing up to become responsible adults. 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.
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.