Exclusive interview with Chavi Lieberman.jpg

During my daily correspondence with Chavi Lieberman in our Monsey, New York Office, I noticed her e-mail signature message showed the countdown of 60 days prior to her departure for Israel. Chavi gets so excited as her trip approaches, that in great anticipation, she marks the passage of each day, as it gets closer to her flight.

Spending the latter part of the high holidays in Israel with relatives and friends, visiting holy sites all over the country, Chavi finally hopped on a few buses beginning in Safed (Tzfat) and transferring until she reached her destination – the Children’s Home in Netanya.

Chavi visited the Home on Sunday, October 14th, her timing was so well synched that her arrival time perfectly coincided with the girls’ school dismissal. The housemates were bursting with joy as they entered the lobby of the Home and saw Chavi in their midst. Many of them remembered her from last year, so they gathered around to invite her to join them for a hearty lunch in the dining room.

IMG_1860.jpgBracha Runes, the programs director, was part of the greeting party too, welcoming Chavi upon her second visit to the Rubin-Zeffren Children’s Home. The girls proudly introduced Chavi to the Home’s cook. Smiling, the chef offered Chavi a kitchen tour and, of course, eagerly handed her a yummy plate of lunch consisting of tuna patties, creamy mashed potatoes, steamed green beans, and crunchy raw carrots, celery and cukes.

IMG_1790.jpgSeated with a bunch of girls and chattering away in a blend of Hebrew and English, also known as “Hebrish”, Chavi and the house sisters caught up on the Home happenings since their first meeting last year. The perennial photographer, Chavi interrupted her lunch to click away, taking photos of the girls beginning with meal time and later continuing while they engaged in activities like aerobics, learning choreographed dance steps and participating in their weekly cooking/baking class. Chavi tells us that his particular week the girls learned to make caramel coated popcorn. Mmmmmm, can you imagine the sweet smell wafting in the Home’s air that Sunday?

IMG_1779.jpgAfter a few hours of hanging out, Chavi was pleased to see the girls busy with their homework, noticing that those who needed assistance received tutorial help. By this time, their full day was already winding down. Chavi shares with us, “The girls were smiling, and they looked genuinely happy. It gave me a lot of satisfaction to visit them again.”

Bracha and Chavi then had an opportunity to finally sit down quietly (well, only for a short time) in her office and talk about future programs and activities in store for the girls.

Chavi summarized her visit by telling us, in her usual enthusiastic voice, “I was so excited to see the girls for the first time last year. And now, on my second visit, I felt so involved and familiar, so much at Home.”

 

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