Reporting "Live from Netanya"

August 2010

There’s nothing as exciting and as hopeful as being on location at the Children’s Home in Netanya and seeing firsthand what the girls are doing, what they are learning, and how they are going positively forward in their young lives!

This is my third report ‘live’ in less than two years and I am thrilled to share the news with YOU – our dear donors, who help ‘make it happen’.  Not only are the improvements and changes I noticed in the physical sense so evident, but also the maturation of the girls  who have been housemates for a few years. The Home’s influence has had and continues to have a positive effect on them. Coming from varied backgrounds – either orphaned by one or two parents, whether through illness or terrorism, or neglected, abandoned and/or abused by living parents,  all of the 103 girls at the Rubin-Zeffren Children’s Home have been given a second chance at having a healthy and successful future.

If the walls at the Home could talk, they’d tell you that the new girls who recently arrived before the school year began, came only the clothing they were wearing that day. Some of them were confused and worried. How would they go to school without having proper uniforms, shoes, books, a backpack and school supplies? Will they be placed in the grade they belong in?  Can they make- up work they missed during the first few days of instruction? Their faces appeared strained and their inner tension and turmoil was evident, whether they were quiet or vocal about these problems.

After spending more than an hour talking to our Programs Director - Bracha Runes, in her busy bustling office, and also interviewing Odelia Edery, the Home’s Activities Director Elinor Gabbay’s assistant (Elinor is currently on maternity leave), I gained so much insight into programs and activities that took place during the summer. I also learned about the upcoming Fall plans for the new school year.  First and foremost, I’d like to report that the general and overwhelming ambiance in the Home is that of warmth, caring and plenty of heart. From the administration to the counselors to the cook and to the handyman, everyone’s love for the girls was so evident and it was infectious too! When one sees how much care and concern, planningand programming goes into the girls’ future, it energizes you to want to do so much more for them.

Here’s what I saw during my visit…

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  • The entry grounds were improved with a proper walkway and planters
  • The vestibule was decorated with more artwork and plaques
  • The entry lobby was adorned with beautiful hand painted wall murals – made by our very own Elinor Gabay with the assistance of some very artisitic housemates.
  • Girls’ bedrooms were spic and span, organized and the beds were beautifully made with new attractive sheets, duvet covers and pillows.
  • Teddy bears and pretty stuffed animals were on all the girls’ beds.
  • Plumbing, electricral work and carpentry were updated and maintained while I watched and girls even assisted bringing tools to the handyman!
  • Additional artwork, mirrors and plants were in place
  • Lunch was about to be served – and the delicious aroma of the food wafted through the hallways – beckoning the hungry visitor and the girls coming home from school. Menu for the day: Couscous, cooked vegetables in natural liquid, lean beef meat balls, crudites – carrot sticks, celery and all colors of peppers, ice water and fresh pita, assorted fresh fruit slices.
  • Counselors sitting with girls during lunch and listening to them, answering them and attentive to their concerns
  • Smiling faces, girls I met previously more mature and content with their lives and the new girls – shown acceptance and asked to join, be seated and share lunch and conversation with the older girls – a true model of chesed and good middot (deeds) – real sisterly concern.

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 As the New Year 5771 begins, we wish you and our girls a year of good beginnings, health, peace of mind and soul, and may all your wishes and theirs come true.


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Chava Yelloz & Bracha Runes




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