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8 MARCH 2018

Supplement

Edited by Brigit Grant


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Jewish News 8 March 2018

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Charity / Enosh

HEARTS AND MINDS

MATTER

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here are an estimated 250,000 Israelis living with diverse mental illnesses and one charity dedicated to helping them. Established in 1978, Enosh, the Israeli Mental Health Association, provides general support for people with psychiatric disabilities and their family members. As a beneficiary of the broadened public awareness surrounding mental health issues over the past decades, Enosh has branched out with an extensive range of services covering fields of activity which would once have been inconceivable given the social context at the time of the organisation’s foundation. Enosh’s overall agenda is categorised into four main groupings: professional rehabilitation services for people with a psychiatric disability; developing new services in the field; raising social awareness of mental health; and promoting the rights of mental health consumers. Enosh prides itself on developing innovative and pioneering methods to integrate mental health consumers (or, in Hebrew, mitmodedim: ‘people who are dealing with their condition’ into the workforce and wider society through personalised training and mentorship aimed at allowing individuals to maximise their capabilities and lead wholesome and meaningful lives. With such an emphasis on creativity, the diversity among Enosh’s themed initiatives comes as little surprise. These include a call centre operated in conjunction with Tikshoov and a leading call centre chain in Israel, staffed entirely by Enosh consumers. Tuvia’s Kitchen provides culinary training for people with an interest in working in the field, Starbikes is a bicycle repair and maintenance store with Enosh consumers among its staff which also runs fun outdoor trips, while the Question Marks music ensemble offers a framework for developing music skills. Other specialised projects centre on sports and fitness, ecological innovation, and shared workspaces. The goal of each of these projects is to ensure each person’s mental health does not present a barrier to enjoying hobbies or

Ben Crome sheds light on the amazing work done by Enosh, the Israeli Mental Health Association

building a career. Enosh works hand-in-hand with relevant governmental departments to provide services in fields such as rehabilitative housing and vocational training. These respond to the needs of mental health clients and enable them to expand the possibility of leading an independent lifestyle and securing meaningful employment. Its socialisation and recreation programme, Beshutaf (‘In Companionship’), works with a variety of leisure centres offering social and cultural activities. One of Enosh’s most unique projects is based around the need to extend support to families of those with mental health , and is centred on seven MILAM centres for counselling relatives and friends on coping with their loved ones’ needs, and also working towards countering the stigma of having psychiatric disabilities in the family, while in a practical sense directing families towards the most relevant sources of information and treatment. Enosh’s 60 service centres around the country, which reach approximately 5,000 people, and its 700-strong team of professional staff make it the largest mental health rehabilitation provider in Israel, but its core infrastructure represents only part of its activities. Thousands of volunteers support different aspects of Enosh’s work, and the public can make a difference through purchasing products hand-made by the members, ranging from arts and crafts to body creams and soaps, kitchen utensils to children’s toys. In 2008, Enosh’s revolutionary work was officially recognised through the award of the Knesset Chairperson’s prize for Quality of Life to its branch in Sderot, the Israeli city closest to the Gaza border which hosts a significant number of trauma patients and Enosh works tirelessly to ensure that they are granted equality of opportunity and that no Israeli family is unaware of the potential these individuals hold. FYI: 00972 74 7556100 Email: office@enosh.org.il visit: enosh.org.il

WE NEED YOUR GOOD QUALITY DONATIONS!

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From supported to supportive Daniel came from a complicated family background. He dropped out of school at age 16 and experienced his 1st mental health based admission at age 18. He had no friends and never held a steady job in his life. He was referred to Enosh's rehabilitation services. Daniel Joined the Enosh's basketball at age 22, accompanied by a tutor. Two years later, Daniel became captain of the Tel – Aviv team and managed to find a full time job independently. He moved out of his parents house and lives with friends in an "assisted living”, accompanied by Enosh's social worker. He also works as a tutor for the mentally disabled.

Mind & Fitness is an innovative program that provides tools and promotes a healthy lifestyle among people with psychiatric disabilities in Israel. The lifespan of this population is decreasing at a staggering rate and is significantly shorter than that of the general public. Smoking, excessive weight and poor nutrition increase chances for diseases which can mostly be controlled or prevented by healthy lifestyle and wellnes. This population faces barriers that impede them from adopting a healthy lifestyle. A holistic approach to rehabilitation is required - combining accessible physical activity, nutrition, illness management and personal empowerment to increase motivation. As the only Program with a holistic approach in Israel today, Mind & Fitness operates 3 main trajectories: physical activities (fitness classes); workshops and monthly lectures on healthy lifestyle (nutrition, smoking cessation) and mindfulness enhancing activities (Yoga, Thai Chi, etc.). The rehabilitative approach can be implemented not only in Enosh’s, but also in other Israeli mental health institutions.

What we offer:

Daniel dreams of studying to become a basketball coach. He voluntarily exposed as mentally disabled person in the national media, as a part of the basketball project advertising: "Basketball is the only thing making me relaxed from the everyday life. It makes me feel like no other activity makes me feel – as a team captain I'm giving to others, and it gives me a sense of responsibility and control and fills me with pride and satisfaction".

About Enosh

Enosh – The Israeli Mental Health Association was established in 1978 to support people with psychiatric disabilities and their families. Enosh has spearheaded innovative rehabilitation services based on a personal approach and mental health Recovery Model, which enables people with mental illness to lead meaningful lives within their community. With over 60 service centers all across the country, 700 Professionals and hundreds of volunteers, Enosh provides support in the fields of housing and living skills, employment facilitation and vocational training, social skill training, recreation and family counseling, and is the largest organization in Israel that provides mental health rehabilitation services. Yet, new and expanded services are developed by Enosh resources and require further support, such as early treatment and prevention in youth, vocational training etc.

A weight loss program

Enosh basketball team

Mind & Fitness Mind & Fitness Program- Crossfit Program The Daniel Rowing Center

The majority of programming is funded by The Ministry of Health via the Basket of Health Services Celebrating its 40th year of activity, Enosh is committed to improving the rights of it beneficiaries and their families by means of advocacy and lobbying for policy change and legislation.

Mind & Fitness - out vision

Re-defining quality of life, as a part of the recovery process - Using sports as an important rehabilitation tool and not only for health promoting or as a hobby.

"‫"נפש בריאה בגוף בריא‬ "Healthy mind in a healthy body" Maimonides (Harambam)

Please support our vital work in Israel by donating at www.enosh.org.il\en | You may also find us on: …because mental health – is everyone's story


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‫הציור מבית מלכות וקסברגר‬

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Donate to Chasdei Naomi and bring happiness to widows and orphans on Purim!

Matanos L’Evyonim

To donate that will be distributed on Purim, call:

972-3-671-6789 | 972-3-677-7777 CHASDEI NAOMI Supporting Israel’s Neediest for Over 30 years

chasdei-naomi.org


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Camp Simcha / Charity

FANCY A BIG

ADVENTURE?

Raising funds and your heart rate is possible with Camp Simcha

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f your new year’s resolutions included visiting far-flung places on your bucket list or giving back to the community, there may a way to do both in one go. Many Jewish charities are offering opportunities to see parts of the world in a way you would not on a typical tourist trek, while providing a chance to challenge yourself physically and raise vital funds for important causes. Simon Levine is currently organising his fifth overseas charity trek – his second for UK charity Camp Simcha. It’s not his job, just a labour of love. “As a religious person, if you want to visit these far-flung and wonderful places there is often the difficulty of how you can do this in terms of provision of kosher food and cooking facilities,” says Simon, 46, a former Edgware resident who now lives in Israel, but still works in London. “In 2007, I went on a charity trek through the Grand Canyon and I had to take all my own food and cooking utensils, pots, pans and so forth. It was a logistical nightmare.” Fast-forward a couple of years to Simon taking it upon himself to organise a trek through the Grand Canyon – for a Jewish charity – with all the kosher catering taken care of.

Simon nailed it. “It was a real success and several of the religious people on the trek told me they had always wanted to do a trip like that but the dietary aspects had held them back,” he says. Boosted by his achievement, Simon in 2015 approached Camp Simcha – an organisation particularly close to his heart. “In Camp Simcha’s early days, when my family was living in Edgware, they helped us with respite support for my son and for years I wanted to give something back,” he says. “So I approached them about organising a Camp Simcha Grand Canyon fundraising trek. It just so happened they were also starting to look into organising their first overseas challenge – so I got to work on planning the route and organising the kosher catering for them.” The trek saw 21 people aged between 21 and 67 undertake a four-day Conquer the Canyon challenge covering 36 miles and descending 2,100 feet into the canyon. It raised more than £100,000 to help to fund Camp Simcha’s work supporting families coping with serious childhood illness. “It was a group from all walks of life – with different levels of religious observance – but we shared a challenging and incredible experience which resulted in real friendships. We are all still in touch regularly,” says Simon. “The route we took was off the tourist

track in parts: one evening we were camping by the Supai Waterfalls at the canyon, which is the most spectacular place. Another day involved a climb down Mooney Falls. It had a sheer drop at certain points and one of our group really struggled with heights but she fought her fears and got down. “The last day, our final mile had a 1,000foot elevation. It was tough but again we did it as a team, pushing or pulling those who were struggling, all with a common cause. We were all in it for the same reasons – to raise money for Camp Simcha, some for very personal reasons, others because it is a great cause – but it bonded us together. “I know every person involved thought it was an incredible, albeit challenging at times, experience. There is a real sense of pride and achievement knowing you have pushed yourself out your comfort zone for others, but also the joy at sharing such a unique adventure.”

 For more information on the Yosemite and Death Valley Challenge, go to http://www.campsimcha.org.uk/event/ yosemite-and-death-valley-trek-19th26th-april-2018/ or contact Sarah Jayne on 020 8202 9297 sarahj@campsimcha. org.uk

Serving Holocaust refugees and survivors nationwide

T: 020 8385 3070 E: enquiries@ajr.org.uk W: www.ajr.org.uk ‘A challenging and incredible experience’: Trekkers on a Camp Simcha expedition

The new Camp Simcha challenge Simon is helping to organise this year takes in the US attractions of Yosemite and Death Valley. Five of the Conquer the Canyon team have already signed up. The trip begins in Las Vegas and includes travelling out to a hike starting in Death Valley National Park, trekking down to the lowest point in North America at Death Valley and then moving on to exploring the highest peaks and waterfalls of Yosemite, while camping under the stars. Again, all food provided will be fully kosher.

 AssociationofJewishRefugees  @AJR_London


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Nightingale Hammerson, leading specialists in residential care We have been serving the Jewish Community for over 170 years, and are helping to meet the increasing need for residential care for the community. We run two residential care homes, Nightingale House in South London, and Hammerson House in North London, currently closed for a major redevelopment and opening in 2020.

Offering a home for life Residential care, nursing care, specialist dementia care through to palliative care. Nightingale Hammerson offers a friendly environment, on a beautiful 5 acre site. A hub of activity with a ground-breaking nursery onsite.

Visitors always welcome! 020 8673 3495 | info@nightingalehammerson.org | www.nightingalehammerson.org 105 Nightingale Lane, London SW12 8NB | Registered Charity No: 207316

We’ll help you draw up plans for the future Since 1948, KKL has been trusted by the Jewish community to act in the planning and administration of hundreds of Wills and Estates. Our professional and caring experts will work with you to ensure that all of your assets and property end up where you want them to go in a tax efficient manner and in accordance with your wishes. If required, we can also act as your Executor. These services are free* when you leave a legacy to Israel through JNF. T For F a free no-obligation and confidential consultation with Carolyn – one of the highly high qualified professionals within our team – please get in touch and we’ll come to you. Call 0800 358 3587 or email carolyn@kkl.org.uk

*Terms and conditions apply. KKL Executor and Trustee Company Ltd (a Company registered in England No. 453042), is a subsidiary of JNF Charitable Trust (Charity No. 225910) and a registered Trust Corporation (authorised capital £250,000).


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Homes for Kids/ Charity

HOMES AND

HOPING

WHEN AN ISRAELI CHILD’S LIFE becomes impossible at home due to finance or family breakdown, Hamifal -Educational Children’s Homes is there to help. The charity has been providing children at risk with a warm and friendly social and educational environment in boarding schools and educational centres since 1943 when it was founded by Recha Freier, who established the Youth Aliyah framework evacuating children from Nazi Germany to kibbutzim. By 1948, the structures already existed for integrating immigrant children into Israel society,

and Freier’s mission was to apply the same measures from within. As a result of her efforts Hamifal has rehabilitated thousands of children running its model ‘children’s village’ which offers a substitute family unit consisting of up to ten children and adults who function both as foster parents and as educators. With supplementary staff made up of psychologists, therapists, and instructors for extra-curricular activities, the children are integrated into the local school system while enjoying a nourishing home life. Other events include summer camps for children with no home to return to during their school breaks, and specialised bar/bat mitzvah preparations and parties. Hamifal’s 16 institutions care for

close to 1,000 children, most of whom come from backgrounds of poverty, abandonment or abuse. The largest single children’s home is in the northern city of Karmiel, which houses around 230 youngsters and is the beneficiary of significant investment from the UJIA. A significant amount of work is devoted to children of immigrants, whose parents have struggled in whatever way to cope with the challenges of raising children in Israel. The newest Hamifal children’s home was established in 1998 in Hurfesh in the Galilee to serve the needs of the local Druze population. These children have full intellectual and developmental potential and many graduates testify that thanks to Hamifal’s frameworks they have learned the meaning of living within a functional household, equipping them with skills for their army service, further study and adult life. hamifal.org.il/en 00 972 2 642 0080


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Charity / Tackling food poverty in Israel

A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO SCHOOL ‘One more child is smiling – thanks to you!’ is the motto of a charity with unusual beginnings, writes Ben Crome

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Food packages remain a basic part of the help Chasdei Naomi provides

Care and Nursing at Home

Do you need a Helping Hand? If you are looking for an alternative to residential care or extra support for those everyday tasks that are becoming difficult for you or a loved one – then we’re here to help from 30 minutes per week to full-time live-in care. Our care teams have been providing award-winning quality home care since 1989 and can help with: personal care, housekeeping, help getting around or even to provide a break to an existing family member or care-giver.

Looking for care?

0808 278 3571

More information

www.helpinghands.co.uk

here are many things that can happen on a school bus, but creating a charity isn’t an obvious one. Yet it was on such a bus while accompanying his own children to school that Rabbi Yosef Cohen came up with Chasdei Naomi in 1984. Sat among pupils of all ages, the rabbi noticed how many of the youngsters lacked basic provisions such as food, proper clothing and stationery, and this observation led to him creating an organisation that has grown into one of Israel’s largest providers of practical assistance to needy families. Initially, the philanthropic founder began delivering food and other supplies anonymously to the children’s families, but what started as an initiative to do good deeds in the community developed into one of the country’s most prominent charities, with around 20,000 volunteers supporting more than 10,000 families. Food poverty, in Israel as in the UK, is a pressing social issue and the situation is especially stark in the stictly-Orthodox Charedi community, around half of whose members live below the poverty line. Food packages remain a basic part of Chasdei Naomi’s offerings, and are put together by volunteers and dispatched from 40 distribution centres around Israel. These help children get through the school day and enable families to celebrate Shabbat and holidays with a degree of comfort. In addition, Chasdei Naomi partners with farmers and dairies to allocate a certain amount of fresh produce to be distributed to recipients. The Bnei Brak-based charity places a special emphasis on single parents, widows and widowers, and orphaned children. As anyone who has attended an Israeli wedding will know, high levels of investment and often excess are frequently the norm, creating expectations beyond the reach of certain demographics. In response, Chasdei Naomi established its own luxury wedding complex, Armonot Chen, using the profits to host weddings for orphans free of charge, and to cover the cost of dresses and suits. Additionally, in the summer of 2014, with Israel in the midst of Operation Protec-

tive Edge, the halls were opened for free to residents of the south who had planned to wed locally but whose venues had been rendered inaccessible owing to the possibility of rocket fire from Gaza. Given the immense importance of Chasdei Naomi’s activities, as well as the relatively straightforward nature of many of the tasks required, volunteer teams include soldiers and those doing civilian service, as well as visitors from abroad seeking to do tzedakah in Israel. One mass project took place at the beginning of the academic year in September, when the ‘Schoolbag for Every Child’ campaign ensured first-graders had all the necessary accessories. These special projects offer rare but important examples of cooperation between different and diverse groups in Israeli society: from religious to secular through native-born Israelis and new olim. Other initiatives rely on co-operation with larger organisations. Now for the 19th consecutive year, Chasdei Naomi has partnered with baby product company Materna to transfer various essentials to newborns and their parents. Chasdei Naomi’s contributions have attracted praise from the uppermost echelons of the Israeli establishment. The late former President Shimon Peres lauded the organisation’s moral compass, and stated its worth within the context of the Talmudic edict, kol yisrael arevim zeh b’zeh: All Israel is responsible for one another. “Your activity and idealism are the very embodiment of all that is worthy and morally commendable in Israeli society,” Peres declared on the 30th anniversary of Chasdei Naomi’s establishment. Senior rabbis and foreign ambassadors have also visited its branches to explore the breadth of the organisation’s work. Its motto is ‘One more child is smiling – thanks to you!’ In more than 30 years of existence, Chasdei Naomi has made that slogan into a reality, largely thanks to the work of an ever-increasing team of dedicated volunteers. Visit chasdei-naomi.org


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Jewish Blind & Disabled / Charity

DREAM

HOME

SOLUTIONS

Living with a condition in the wrong environment is not living at all They may have been the victims of an ONE IN FIVE PEOPLE in the UK face a accident, suffered severe vision impairment, shocking and life-changing diagnosis of or found that their bodies became frailer disability at some point in their lives and, while their minds were still young and active. for nearly 50 years, Jewish Blind & DisaThese are all reasons why Jewish Blind & bled has been the only organisation in the Disabled is constantly looking for sites suitJewish community providing independent able for future developliving, with 24/7 on-site ments. support, for Jewish When someone does adults who find themmove into one of the selves in this position. charity’s buildings, they Much has changed don’t only move into over that time, and the an apartment specially charity now operates designed to enable them seven developments to manage of state-of-the-art those essential mobility apartments, everyday tasks, with building work well they also move underway on its latest The exciting project into a warm project, which is due to in Bushey Heath and welcoming open in Bushey Heath community. towards the end of this year. A diagnosis of Unfortunately there are still so many disability can leave someone feeling isolated people living with multiple sclerosis, cereand lonely. Often people find themselves a bral palsy, motor neurone or Huntington’s prisoner in their own home, unable to get Disease, in accommodation that is totally out their own front door and, sooner or unsuitable to their needs.

later, even the best intentioned of friends have to get on with their own lives. Moving into a Jewish Blind & Disabled development changes all that. Of course, people can choose just to enjoy their privacy behind their own front door if they wish, but most prefer also to make the most of the very many clubs and activities, including celebrations of all the chagim, which take place regularly in the beautifully- designed communal lounges and accessible gardens. As an independent charity that does not receive any government funding, it is

constantly fundraising to help it continue its vital work. Like many charities it holds a Pesach appeal, but also organises a Friends of Jewish Blind & Disabled Annual Golf Day in July, plus a repeat run of the very successful poker evening in October. For those who enjoy more of a challenge, the charity has just started to plan its annual ‘marathon’ walk, which this year will take a very different route, but success is what it hopes to reach. For more about these events, contact abi@jbd.org or visit jbd.org

“When my daughter was diagnosed with liver disease it never occurred to me that Camp Simcha would be able to help me... but they’re there for every child who needs them” At Camp Simcha we support children, across the whole of the UK, with over 50 chronic life-changing and life-threatening conditions, including Type-1 diabetes, premature babies, genetic disorders, serious surgery and all types of cancer. If you know a family who need us, please call Neville Goldschneider on 020 8202 9297 in the strictest confidence.

#SOMUCHMORE T: 020 8202 9297 • E: office@campsimcha.org.uk www.campsimcha.org.uk CampSimchaUK Camp Simcha Registered Charity No. 1044685


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Charity / Lirot

HELP IN SIGHT With the eye health of his own children threatened, Ohad Lahav needs to find a cure

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oday, 80 percent of blindness cases are known to be preventable if the causes are discovered and treated in time. However, each year, two thousand Israelis turn blind. The tragedy is that this need not be. With eye screening, early diagnosis, and preventive care, thousands of children, adults, and elderly can hold onto their gift of sight

and not experience the trauma and long-term suffering of blindness. Half a million people in Israel suffer from eye disease and vision impairment but there is a group of medical specialists and scientists who can stop it. This group is represented by Lirot, the non-profit Israeli Research Association for Eye Health and Blindness Prevention that is now at the forefront of ophthalmologic research. Like so many people who start charities, Lirot’s founder, Ohad Lahav, did it for personal reasons. In 2005, doctors discovered his 11-year-old daughter was suffering from Best disease, which is hereditary, causes blindness and was poorly understood. After hearing the dire prognosis, Lahav decided to wage war on the disease, and his fight altered medical research in Israel and

could affect the entire biotechnology and medical industry. Determined to save his daughter’s eyesight, Lahav began raising funds and lobbied the Knesset in order to attract the most prominent scientists and researchers to a project he called Lirot. In the midst of all this work, Lahav and his family received the terrible news that his eight-year-old son also had the disease, although symptoms had yet to develop. As yet there is still no cure, but Oded fights on and is planning to establish a national research centre in the Negev, which would house top ophthalmology researchers from Israel and abroad. Together, he hopes they will find a cure for Best disease and other degenerative retinal diseases, and remains resolute in his commitment. “In Midrash Tehillim it’s written, ‘there’s

no torment like the torments of blindness’ – and it’s true,” says Oded, who knows time is running out. “If we don’t stop this, the life of my children will be ruined. But we will stop it. Any other option is out of the question.” Lirot’s mission is to prevent blindness entirely through research, screening, and public awareness and if their team of doctors, scientists, and researchers succeed, we will benefit too. Uniquely, a donation to Lirot can be made in one’s name to its scholarship programme, which gives Fellowship awards to outstanding researchers and physicians twice a year. For more information, visit lirot.org, or call 00972 9 9518475 eyes.org.il

Each year, two thousand Israelis go blind – and non-profit Lirot is working hard to stop this


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“I work at The Bread Factory three times a week. Kisharon helped me find this job which I love.” ~Ilana Last year Kisharon secured 80 jobs for people with learning disabilities. If you have a learning disability and would like to find work, or you are an employer interested in offering work then call Shlomo at Equal Employment on 07891 912 586 Kisharon provides training and employment through its Equal enterprises which include a gift store, bespoke invitations, library, bike shop and repairs and party favour bags.

Registered Charity No 271519

|

Kisharon’s Head Office Tel: 020 8203 2233

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Jewish News 8 March 2018

Charity / Cancer support

MY PRECIOUS CHAI I don’t have to live with the impact of cancer alone, says Laura Moses OVER THE PAST DECADE, ovarian cancer incidence rates have decreased by a twentieth (five percent) in females in the UK, although it is the sixth most common cancer, with around 7,300 new cases in 2015. The symptoms of ovarian cancer can be very vague, particularly when it is in its early stages. Signs and symptoms include loss of appetite, pain in the abdomen or lower part of the abdomen that doesn’t go away, bloating and increase in the size of the abdomen, needing to pass urine more often and feeling full quickly. Other possible symptoms could be unexpected tiredness, unexplained weight loss, changes in bowel habit or symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, especially if this starts after the age of 50, irregular bleeding or bleeding after the menopause. These are all symptoms of other less serious conditions, but if you experience them or anything else that is not normal for you, get them checked out by your doctor. At the age of 27, Laura Moses was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. “I remember the day I found out I carried the BRCA1 gene mutation. I didn’t know what

to think or how to feel. What I was sure about was that I needed to be proactive and start having surveillance. “I had my ovaries checked once before I was diagnosed with stage 3 ovarian cancer. I had six cycles of chemotherapy and radical debulking surgery. In November 2016, I found out I was in remission. “When I reflect on everything that has happened over the past two years, and I think about the journey I am still going on, there is no doubt that it has a huge impact on my family and friends. “Until you experience cancer, you have no idea how many people are affected by each diagnosis – the patients, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, husbands, wives, children, grandchildren. Chai just seems to know what each person needs. “Chai came into my life just before I had my surgery, which was an anxious time for me. After an initial meeting, they arranged for me to have a massage and speak to one of their incredible counsellors before my surgery. “On the day of my surgery, they called me to

UNTIL YOU EXPERIENCE CANCER, YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE AFFECTED BY EACH DIAGNOSIS

Laura Moses says Chai helps her deal with difficult times

let me know they were thinking of me. “After I was discharged from hospital, they organised for me to work with their physiotherapists, to see the counsellor and to have treatments. This is something I continue to do. “I think about my cancer journey as boxing matches. I won the first match because I am in remission, and Chai was a very important team member. I have now started my second match. The aim is to hold my position as champion and, once again, Chai is there for

both me and my family. “Chai helps me deal with the tricky times, to manage my fears about my health, to celebrate the good news and enables me to get back to the things that define me as Laura Moses.” To find out more about Chai’s specialised cancer support services, call 020 8202 2211 or visit chaicancercare.org

TOGETHER WE SAVE THE ELDERLY FROM BLINDNESS

MANY DISABLED PEOPLE WHO SUFFER FROM VISION IMPAIRMENT WILL BE TREATED BY DOCTORS IN OUR EQUIPPED MOBILE CLINIC. YOU CAN BRING LIGHT TO THEIR LIFE AND SIGHT TO THEIR EYES GET IN TOUCH LIROT THE ISRAELI RESEARCH ASSOCIATION FOR EYE HEALTH AND BLINDNESS PREVENTION: PHONE : 972-54-4230012 EMAIL: nadine@eyes.org.il WEBSITE: www.lirot.org


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Engaging with Judaism / Charity

FAITH WITH A WARM

WELCOME Prolific, ever-expanding and only ever with the best intentions, Louisa Walters reveals what the great Jewish organisation Chabad has to offer IN 52 LOCATIONS across the country, and at more than 3,000 worldwide, Chabad Lubavitch is encouraging people to engage with Judaism at a level relevant for them. University students attend dinners and make use of the SMS ‘chicken soup service’ (yes really), as Chabad attempts to give them a home away from home. Chabad also runs schools and centres, providing everyone everywhere with a place to go, to grow and to feel welcome. “There is a lot of talk about people becoming less interested in Judaism,” says Rabbi Bentzi Sudak, CEO of Chabad Lubavitch. “We believe that in fact Judaism, at its meaningful core, is in demand; it just depends how it is offered. “Our philosophy is that Judaism is not something you need to obtain from an institution or organisation, it is yours by birth. Chabad is a conduit to show you what exists for you in your Judaism. We offer meaning, value and depth to make your Judaism personally relevant to you, and to give it to you in a way that will talk to you.” One way in which Chabad does this is via its Jewish Learning Institute (JLI). This runs three courses each year in 14 locations in the UK. Courses run for six weeks and use the very latest in audio visual and web technology. Recognising that different people have different ways of learning, the organisation employs the multiple intelligence model of

Chabad Lubavitch’s Rabbi Bentzi Sudak

SIMCHAS SURI TOYS AND GAMES

The family and friends of the late Suri Dubiner a.h. are delighted to inform the community of a new venture in memory of the girl who devoted her life to the children in the community and to their happiness. Simchas Suri will be operating from this week and will be distributing toys and games to all those who, due to financial or other constraints, cannot frequent the toy shops and procure toys for their children. All toys will be given to you and you will not need to return them. Should you wish to benefit from this service, please email simchassuri@gmail.com ortext/call 07983 153 342.. You do not need to leave your name. Just leave a brief message as to what kind of toy /toys you seek, the age of your child/children and how many toys you would need. All toys will be wrapped up and sent by taxi to an address of your choice (anywhere in the UK) at a time of your choosing. YOUR PRIVACY IS OUR PRIORITY. Should anyone wish to donate any toys that are in EXCELLENT CONDITION or should anyone like to donate money towards the purchase of new toys for this service, please feel free to email as above.

Chabad runs a popular SMS ‘chicken soup service’ for university students

teaching. This is a four-pronged approach: 1. Analytical (lecture) 2. Procedural (activity) 3. Exploratory (text) 4. Emotional (personalisation) At the most recent course, on communication, Rabbi Sudak encouraged couples to attend together to learn how better to communicate with each other. In Jewish philosophy, communication is more than just a tool: it is who we are. Humans are defined as communicative beings with a communicative soul. The rise of the internet, mobile phones and social media has completely changed the way we relate, interact, and communicate with one another. During the course, Jewish thought was contrasted with scientific discovery to unearth the essence of communication and how to utilise its powers to better ourselves, our relationships, and all of society. The next course, starting in April, explores the philosophical question ‘What Is?’. Drawing on the wisdom of Chasidic teaching, the most basic building blocks of existence will be re-examined from the bottom up, revolutionising our understanding of life, reality, and our place in the world. Chabad.org.uk/jli

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Charity / Homecare

THE RIGHT KIND

OF CARE There is nothing harder than choosing care options for a relative as a compassionate decision maker quickly realises. Thankfully there are now many ways to enjoy one’s twilight years as there are a host of options to suit all kinds of needs, budgets and situations. Here, Deborah Cicurel looks at very four different but equally good ones …..

GIFT

HOMEBODIES If an older person doesn’t need constant medical assistance or to live in a care home, but still requires a bit of help, the home care agency Homebodies could be the answer. Founded by two Jewish women and based in Finchley, Homebodies offers support to families in childcare and elderly care. “We recognise that theres a big gap in the market for older people who may not require full-blown care but might feel that they’ve lost confidence living on their own or that they’d thrive with some companionship, whether it’s someone having meals with them or going for a walk with them,” says co-founder Lois Allon. Allon says that although Homebodies can also help with full-time carers, or clients requiring medical assistance, their idea of providing “au pairs for elderly people” can work wonders not just for the client but also for the au pairs too. “It’s very reciprocal,” she says. “Of course the companion is getting payment, but often

they’re doing it because they feel the work is so rewarding, they gain so much from it and they find companionship with the elderly person too. “We try to bring enhancement to their lives and keep their quality of life for as long as possible: I have a passion about keeping older people in the comfort of their own homes,” she adds. Homebodies does its homework to ensure companions are properly matched up with their elderly charges: for example, if someone loves current affairs, they will find a companion who’s happy to read them the newspaper, or if there is a client who loves to garden, they’ll match them with a companion with green fingers. “It doesn’t have to cost a fortune: we offer a much more affordable way of care,” she adds. “We are passionate about helping people, can provide a bespoke and professional service, and we recognise that everybody has different needs and we will find the best match to cater to them.” home-bodies.co.uk T: 020 7101 4243 info@home-bodies.co.uk

SUNRIDGE COURT

GIFT - making a difference

GIFT touches the lives of over 5,000 people each week with our volunteering, food distribution & education programmes across London, Manchester & Jerusalem.

GIFT activities: • Helping Hand & Tutoring Help • Schools’ Initiatives • Shabbat Walk - Hospital & Care Home Visits • GIFT It Forward/ GIFT your Simcha • B’nei Mitzvah Parties • Food Collections, Packathons & Deliveries

For more information, to volunteer or donate, please call GIFT (020) 8457 4429 email info@jgift.org or visit www.jgift.org

Friendly, homely and welcoming, Sunridge Court in Golders Green, is a 43-bed residential care home looking after Jewish elderly residents who need mild to moderate care. It’s a non-profit organisation, so every penny you pay goes back into caring for the residents, who range from 79 to 107 years of age. “Our residents live in a small, family environment, and because we have a fantastic retention of staff, everybody involved has been there forever,” says executive director Rachel Jones. “We celebrate all the Jewish festivals, have lovely kosher food and there are lots of wonderful activities taking place every day,” she adds. “Options could include exercise classes, art classes, discussion groups, bingo, film afternoons or art history lectures.” Naturally, choosing a home for a parent or grandparent can be a stressful and difficult time, but Sunridge Court does everything they can to make their residents feel at home. “We have a warm, family environment,” Jones says. “It’s not clinical: for example, we ask all our residents to furnish their own rooms, so each room looks different and its very person-centred. We are able to look after people’s loved ones in a warm, safe, loving environment.” The care home is currently expanding, building nine new rooms on the third floor, which will be ready by the end of this year. sunridgecourt.co.uk T: 020 8458 3389 info@sunridgecourt.co.uk


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Home care/ Charity BLUEBIRD CARE BARNET If your elderly relative requires flexible but specialist care, consider Bluebird Care. The Barnet-based home care agency covers the whole borough and only employs carers who live in locally , which enables faster arrival times, low staff turnover and great continuity of care. Specialising in general old age care as well as conditions such as Parkinson’s, motor neurone disease, Alzheimers, MS and dementia, the company works with the NHS and Barnet special services to provide complex care, including in terminal and palliative cases. The care agency, which has been running for nine years and which has nearly 200 employees, provides a bespoke approach to

HELPING HANDS HOME CARE

each client, making care more affordable and personalised depending on the needs of the family. “Our approach allows family to live together and allows children and grandchildren to grow up with their grandparents,” says managing director Larry Berkowitz. “It’s a good alternative to care homes. Our carers can come once a day for 45 minutes, four or five times a day, or can live in. It’s not all or nothing: we have some customers we only go to once a week. It’s all totally customised to the individual.” As well as ensuring that carers and clients are the right fit, the company has a strong stance on social responsibility: it employs eight people with learning disabilities to help with admin tasks and handing out leaflets, and is also very involved in the Jewish community, supporting several community charities and functions on a regular basis. bluebirdcare.co.uk T: 020 3011 0996 barnet@bluebirdcare.co.uk

With a range of home care and live-in services, Helping Hands, which has 66 branches across England and Wales, has care options to suit all kinds of clients with all kinds of needs. The company’s services include visiting and live-in care, with options including companionship, housekeeping and complex support for specific conditions, from MS and dementia to strokes and spinal injuries. Carers can pop in for half an hour or can live in full-time based on the clients’ requirements. “We offer the full range of home care services, from regular visits from as little as 30 minutes a week and up to several visits a day, right through to overnight care, 24-hour live-in care and end-of-life support,” says

sales and marketing director Lindsey Edgehill. “We’re a family-run business that’s small enough to care, but big enough to cope. At Helping Hands, our focus is on creating unique support plans, completely based around each customer and their needs, likes and aspirations,” Dalal adds. “Unlike introductory agencies that focus on finding you a carer and letting you handle the management, we offer complete peace of mind by managing care from start to finish – including carer pay, appraisals, handovers, relief carers, changes to your support plan and any extra carer training required.” helpinghands.co.uk T: 0843 775 5714 enquiries@helpinghands.co.uk

SUNRIDGE COURT offers a unique residential setting for residents

who need help and support from our highly trained staff. We offer a home from home environment allowing our residents to bring their own belongings with them to truly personalise their living environment. SUNRIDGE COURT has strong links with the Jewish Community where

we work in partnership with various organisations trying to offer our residents fulfilling and enriching lives.

76 The Ridgeway, Golders Green, London, NW11 8PT Tel 020 8458 3389 • info@sunridgecourt.co.uk • www.sunridgecourt.co.uk


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Charity / Work Avenue

CODING YOUR WAY

INTO WORK

Emma May, head of employment at Work Avenue, has an amazing offer for those seeking employment in tech FROM A TENTATIVE START before the turn of the 21st century to a complete digital revolution over the last 10 years, computers have completely changed the face of how we live, and no less so in the world of employment. From recruitment to every aspect of our working lives, the application of technology does not simply support our work, but actually dictates and drives our activities in the workplace too, offering the chance for organisations to both automate lower-skilled tasks as well as address more demanding projects in a cost and time-efficient manner. With this in mind, Work Avenue, the employment and business support charity, has recognised an opportunity to exploit the innate talents and skills honed by those who may not have formal qualifications and experience but still have the logical thinking skills and ability to unpick a problem, and learn popular programming languages and real-world coding skills which address a market need. Working in this field has the added benefit of being portable and flexible in terms of schedule and workplace, also important to day’s working world.

Work Avenue, has launched a course which will teach a number of these contemporary skills and programming languages, including Visual Studio and web development, Javascript, HTML and CSS, providing a springboard to interesting and productive employment.

Work Avenue has partnered with leading tech companies, who help shape the course content and advise students on how to progress in the industry and what IT firms are looking for when they recruit successful graduates of the course.

However, having the technical skills to do a job is only half the battle when it comes to securing employment. So as well as learning practical coding skills, course participants are also working with the Work Avenue employment team, who will provide practical training and guidance to help them secure a job at the end of the course. This training includes CV writing, interview techniques, job searching and network building, all of which are regularly offered to all job seekers from all walks of life. “I wanted to gain knowledge and new skills for a programming career,” says Course delegate David Kahan. “The course is helping me build a portfolio to show employers and gain confidence without needing to attain formal qualifications. I’m excited to see where this will lead me and to embark upon a new career.” Tim Finch, Product Manager at Qube Global Software, added “It has been great to engage with Work Avenue and support the development and implementation of this programme, helping a new cohort of coders develop careers.” Professional support is offered to all clients, whether they are enrolled on any of Work

Avenue vocational training courses or not. Work Avenue offers advice and assistance to young businesses as they grow and develop and monthly Huddles are held on such topics as driving sales, GDPR legislation or HR to name a few. Guidance on employment procedures, one to one business advice, mentoring and access to start-up funds are also available. For more info or an appointment, call 020 8371 3280 or email reception@ theworkavenue.org.uk today.

Struggling to hear the TV? Missing out on family conversations? Hearing just not what it used to be? We have the technology to make a difference. Book a free appointment with a trained consultant at JDA’s Technology and Information Centre. We can discuss any difficulties you may be experiencing and then you can try out some practical equipment to best suit your needs … you’ll be amazed at the clever devices available to help you stay independent, like: • Amplified and hearing aid compatible mobile and landline phones. • Amplified, vibrating or flashing light alerts for phones, door bell, alarm clock, smoke detectors and baby monitors. • Listening devices that can make it easier to enjoy TV, theatre and noisy gatherings - including your family Seder! Telephone Gabrielle Radnor on 020 8446 0214 or email gabrielle@jdeaf.org.uk www.jdeaf.org.uk


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AJR / Charity

RESPECTING

REFUGEES

ALF KEILES IS DOING JUST FINE at 90 years old. The AJR member puts his youthful appearance down to his love of jazz music – Alf has one of the largest jazz music collections in the UK, over 11,000 records and cassettes plus 6,200 iTunes tracks. Alf has also personally produced 480 commercial CDs but now as a nonagenarian he is easing back and recently stopped giving jazz lectures at local U3A groups. Alf joined The Association of Jewish Refugees 14 years ago in order to apply for reparations from the German government, which he was eligible for as a refugee of Nazi persecution having been born in Wiesbaden in 1927 and left Germany in 1936. By joining the AJR he discovered the social groups and events, but not content with being a guest -decided to host an AJR group of his own. “I’ve been doing that in my own home for almost 10 years,” says Alf. “I usually get about 18 people coming each month. I play them music from my collection – Mantovani is a favourite.” Alf also has a social worker Maxine once a month to assess his needs and she recommended a helper. “She is fantastic,” he chirps. “She comes every day, makes my breakfast and lunch, cleans my home and puts cream on my face. She even offers to drive me to my friend’s home

when I don’t feel like driving myself.” Alf’s helper is arranged by the AJR’s social welfare services department as part of a fund the administer on behalf of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims against Germany (the Claims Conference). “The AJR is the agency for the Claims Conference in the UK and our mission is to help our members live with dignity, comfort and security in their own homes for as long as possible,” says AJR Chief Executive Michael Newman. “ I would urge anyone who fled a Nazi-occupied country as a Jewish refugee or as a Holocaust survivor, who is not yet a member of AJR, to contact us as soon as possible for help.” For more info email: enquiries@ajr.org. uk, call 020 8385 3070 or visit www.ajr. org.uk

Utilizing rights can change a life!

Now it is our chance to help Holocaust Survivors in Israel!

Aviv For Holocaust Survivors is a non profit organization that provides free assitance and counseling to thousands of Holocaust survivors to help them realize all the rights they deserve. Many Holocaust survivors in Israel live in poverty, our aim is to help them live respectably and with dignity. We can’t change their past but we can improve their quality of life.

For donations: www.avivshoa.co.il / 972-72-2424404 The contribution is tax deductible

www.avivshoa.co.il

E

very year Hillel - The Right to Choose assists over 1,200 young adults leaving ultra-Orthodoxy to join secular Israeli society. They struggle with finances, emotional distress, housing needs, large gaps in core education, and workforce preparedness. They also possess extraordinary talents and drive. Through their courage and determination, and with the help of Hillel social workers and volunteers, they transform their lives, and ours.

In the beginning the hardest thing was myself. I was scared to be seen, as if I had done something wrong simply by being me… Hillel helped… I met friends there – people like me. Hillel supplied support and necessities for living on my own, and scholarships to get a first, and now a second academic degree. Today I’m independent, with my own business teaching women the mechanics for basic service of their own cars. For me it’s both a business and a vital social mission - showing women they can succeed at anything; especially at things considered the realm of men. I’m certainly no longer scared to be seen.

Tehilla Deutsch

Your support allows Hillel to provide members with the most basic of rights - the right to choose how to live, what to believe, and how to realize their enormous potential. For more information on Hillel – The Right to Choose, google us or contact me at: avi@hillel.org.il For donations please visit us at: http://bit.do/hillelorg

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Charity / Aviv / Simchassuri

THE SURVIVAL OF

SURVIVORS

With one third of Holocaust survivors living in poverty and isolation, the help offered to them by Aviv is essential, writes Ben Crome REACHING THE PROMISED LAND was the sole objective for many who survived the Holocaust, as it represented tangible consolation and reassuring safety after all they had endured. But a large number of survivors – there are currently 200,000 – who made it to Israel are now living in poverty and isolation, which is a major cause of concern. Due to political and historical reasons the rights and welfare of Holocaust survivors are spread among many organisations in Israel and they are all committed to improving helping survivors living conditions, but many are unaware of their rights or too tired and disparate to cope with the bureacracy alone.

In January, a Knesset law proposed in response to the new Polish legislation on Holocaust discourse to offer free legal aid to survivors affected by these changing conditions, but the situation for many is a much more pressing day-to-day struggle. In response to this struggle Aviv – Spring for Holocaust Survivors (Aviv LeNitzolei HaShoah), was established in 2007 by lawyer Aviva Silberman, a veteran activist for survivors’ rights. Silberman, who made aliyah from Switzerland, began her involvement in the cause as a law student when, as a German speaker, she volunteered to help Holocaust survivors to fill out forms requesting compensation. “It was then that I recognised that many sources of supplementary funding were available for Holocaust survivors, but poorly understood or difficult to access,” says Aviva. “Ultimately, about 60% of the survivors did not claim the full range of benefits to which they were entitled.” Aviv thus became the first centralised free of charge information centre working

to ensure that each survivor was fully aware of their rights. The Israeli finance ministry, various Israeli NGOs, the German government and, to a lesser extent, the authorities in other European countries all have pools of funding available, but logistical obstacles prevented these resources being fully exhausted. “ These complex procedures Aviva Silberman explains the impetus to help survivors involve wearisome bureaucracy, who support them. Its call centre answers and in the case of international operations around 12,000 requests per year. and in total often take place in languages the claimants has supported 60,000 survivors by helping do not understand,” adds Aviva. “Moreover, them to access an additional £70 million. many existing NGOs working with Holocaust The Israeli ministries of finance and welfare survivors lacked an overall picture of which now recognise Aviv as offering the broadest benefits are available, and so Aviv’s greatest specialist expertise in the field, having interachievement is its ability to streamline nalised the fact that their work is a major knowledge, disseminate information. and stepping-stone in ensuring Holocaust survipersonally assist them throughout the vors can live in respect and dignity. processs.” Aviv runs information sessions for Holocaust survivors and also professional israelgives.org/amuta/580481638 training for social workers and volunteers

TOYS IN HER MEMORY A teacher lost her life, but her legacy is to keep giving to children

Enabling 1000’s of deaf & hard of hearing children, youth & adults to meet their challenges ahead and to become fully functional & contributing members of society. The Institute for the Advancement of Deaf Persons in Israel La Guardia 63 POB 9235 , Tel Aviv 61091 Tel. +972-3-631-1595

www.sela.org.il/en/homepage/ • info@dpii.org

SURI DUBINER WAS A SPECIAL LADY. She was single and had no children of her own but she loved them, regardless of age and was especially close to her nieces and nephews. As deputy head of the nursery at Pardes House, Suri had a warm relationship with the children in her charge and used to inquire after them long after they were in her care. The kindergarten is not state aided, so Suri had to budget carefully. She used to spend hours frequenting charity shops and going at the crack of dawn to car boot sales to find furniture and toys at a budget price. She then cleaned it all meticulously so that by the time the children received their goodies, they all sparkled like new. When she died last year aged just 34 her friends and family set up Simchas Suri, a charity in her memory to provide toys for disadvantaged children. This is something that she would have really been proud to be associated with. Since raising awareness, the charity has had donations of dolls, books, board games, toy cars, baby gyms, a doll’s house and even a table tennis table. Now that the weather is getting better and outdoor activities

are on the horizon, the charity is also keen to get some scooters. Playmobil is always popular so there are hopes for more of that. The toys are housed in a storage room in one of the volunteers’ houses although as the charity expands it will look at taking permanent space somewhere. As word spreads, toys are being requested as soon as they come in so the turnaround is fast! Charity shops and organisations are starting to offer toys and people are also giving cash, which can be used to buy toys. In just three weeks since the charity was launched, more than 20 disadvantaged children have received something to play with and brighten their lives. To donate cash:justgiving.com/crowdfunding/suri To donate toys: simchassuri@gmail.com


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AJEX CONTINUES TO PROVIDE WELFARE SUPPORT FOR EX SERVICE PERSONNEL AND THEIR DEPENDANTS


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Charity / Surviving grief

LOSS AND RECOVERY

Bereavement requires a certain kind of understanding that JBCS provides

“UNTIL YOU NEED A CHARITY, you have the luxury of remaining oblivious to what they really do.” Anne Kaye says this with the innate sorrow of one who now understands that need, after being helped by the Jewish Bereavement Counselling Service (JBCS). Having moved 250 miles away from her roots some 30 years earlier, Anne was detached from her faith geographically, but still a Jewish mother in her heart and raising her daughter as a single parent. The ties she lovingly describes between

herself and her beloved – “talented, beautiful, generous” – child are spoken of in the past tense as her daughter, who was in her thirties, died tragically and suddenly in 2014. Anne can still barely speak of her child’s passing or describe the way she felt when her parental world came crashing down without faltering, but she knew at the time she needed help. “There are no maps in such a situation, as I am sure anyone who suffers the sudden bereavement of a dearly beloved one will know only too well,” says Anne. “Living so far away from my roots, in the face of my grief, I realised I needed support, somehow, from my Jewish roots and googled the words ‘Jewish’ and ‘bereavement’ and there it was… the Jewish Bereavement Counselling Service.” Anne made contact and spoke to a “highly efficient, professional and very kind voice at the end of the phone.” She didn’t know it then, but JBCS administrator Barbara Freed was the consoling voice on the phone and equal supportive warmth came from manager Trisha Curtis who, after understanding Anne’s situation, referred her to an appropriate counsellor. “This service was offered to me without hesi-

tation which, for a Jewish person living so far away from north London, and in the situation I was in, was amazing. A miracle. A ‘mitzvah’, a blessing of the highest order.” Anne becomes emotional describing the role JBCS played in her recovery, which went on for many weeks with occasional face-to-face sessions and others via Skype. “I cannot see how I would ever have been able to be as whole, strong and functioning without the extraordinary kindness, professionalism and appropriate support from the JBCS.” Receiving such praise and thanks is welcome and not uncommon, but JBCS staff and volunteers are motivated to help individuals to manage their grief, cope with the loss and, ultimately, continue their lives. “We have bereavement support groups in Golders Green to suit different people,” explains Trisha listing Butterflies – for

mums and dads (of young children) who have lost a parent; Aftershock – for young adults (18-30 years) who have lost a parent; Stepping Stones – for people (40-60 years) who have lost a partner; After Loss – for people (60+) who have lost a partner; and Stronger Together – for people (60+) who have lost a partner. “There is a misconception that the JBCS is just for those of a certain age, but bereavement and loss can happen at any time to anyone and we are here to help pick up the pieces.” Anne certainly believes JBCS helped her: “The counselling, support, kindness, confidentiality and it’s available for Jewish people of all social and financial classes,” she says, with the strength and resolve of one who understands the need for the charity. The Jewish Bereavement Counselling Service is looking for more counsellors and volunteers. Visit jbcs.org.uk or call 020 8951 3881

FOR SOME CHILDREN A HOME IS NOT TO BE TAKEN FOR GRANTED

Hamifal is a non-profit organization under the supervision of the Ministry of Education that provides 1000 homeless children and children at risk, ages 3-18 with a home, education, care and skills for their success in life! Hamifal Has 75 foster families that care for them and encourage them to believe in themselves. Hamifal operates 16 residential care frameworks throughout Israel that support their needs. Hamifal has 9 Children’s Villages that help children face every situation with great love and dignity. Hamifal is there for them 365 days 24/7 to help them achieve their goals.

PLEASE DONATE!

Our successful graduates are our living proof to our educational and rehabilitative work.

Donations can be made via our website :

Join our circle of friends and help us make sure that each and every one of our children will never get lost to himself and to our society.

Email: info@hamifal.org.il Website : www.hamifal.org.il

Please support our work and help us to create a better future for the children

Israeli Non-profit organization # 58-0051605


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Your 1% can help end Jewish poverty A little from a lot of people can make unimaginable changes. Leaving World Jewish Relief a gift in your Will of just 1% of your estate could end Jewish poverty and bring hope to the world’s poorest Jews.

To find out how or for more information on leaving a gift in your Will please contact Richard Budden on 020 8736 1250 or go to worldjewishrelief.org/will

Registered charity no. 290767

Donate to Celebrate Mark a special occasion by supporting World Jewish Relief Whether you’re looking to give a meaningful gift or celebrating yourself, why not mark a special occasion by giving some of the world’s most vulnerable Jewish people something to celebrate too?

For more information about Donate to Celebrate contact Richard Budden on 020 8736 1250 or at richardb@worldjewishrelief.org

worldjewishrelief.org/donatetocelebrate

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Charity / Hillel

A WORLD APART Former Charedi Jews are not equipped to deal with their new lives, but one Israeli charity helps them WITH NO ACCESS TO MONEY, formal education or family for support, young adults who leave the Charedi community become cultural immigrants in the secular world. The release last year of the Netflix documentary One of Us which chronicled the struggle of three ex-Chasidic Jews in Brooklyn,New York, showed how isolating the experience can be and it is no different in Israel where

around 1,300 young people leave the community every year. Ex-communicated by their families who in some cases sit shiva for the ‘lost’ child, these individuals must go it alone or rely on the invaluable support of Hillel, a charitable organisation devoted to helping those who leave, integrate into wider society. Hillel was founded in 1991 in the

aftermath of a television appearance by Shai Horowitz, who had left the Charedi community aged 17 and reached the airwaves to share his story. Horowitz was subsequently contacted by numerous volunteers who wanted to help realise his vision of an organisation which would support others undergoing the same transition. Since then, Hillel has grown into the largest body of its kind in Israel. Its 250 volunteers receive around 100 new cases per year, and Hillel is involved in supporting approximately 500 people at any given time. An impressive 30 percent of Hillel alumni have gone on to serve as volunteers with the organisation. The depth of the problems Hillel’s volunteers confront are enormous. Ties between ex-Charedim and their family members are typically severed

as they leave the community, resulting in a lack of support networks, housing, or employment opportunities. In response, Hillel’s first step is a consultation with a personal mentor and a social worker or psychologist. It provides support with finding suitable jobs, accelerated and subsidised courses to complete high school diplomas, short-term apartments for people kicked out of their family homes, and, perhaps most importantly in terms of thorough integration into non-Charedi Israeli society, help with drafting to the IDF (Charedim almost exclusively do not serve in the army). These are usually recognised

as lone soldiers and Hillel helps them access the financial and other benefits eligible to them. If current trends continue, an estimated one in nine children of Charedim will not identify as Charedi as adults, meaning that Hillel’s services are hugely relevant. However, the stigma of turning to a charity for help with seemingly basic matters remains strong, which is why Hillel states that its goal is not to try to coerce Charedim to live a more secular lifestyle but rather to help those who have already made that decision. hillel.org.il hillel.email@gmail.com

Cyril and Joseph, care home residents

It’s gifts in Wills that keep many people like Cyril and Joseph in touch with their Jewish roots

#PeopleOfJewishCare Legacy ads JLG JN 165x260mm v5.indd 2

We depend on gifts in Wills for £1 in every £4 we need to raise. To find out more about our free Will Writing Service, please call Alison Rubenstein on 020 8922 2833 or email legacyteam@jcare.org

Jewish Care Charity Reg No. 802559

Cyril and Joseph are just two of the many people in our care, who we make sure can always enjoy Friday night dinners, attend shul services, celebrate festivals and remain part of our community. Gifts in people’s Wills mean that every single one of them can always stay in touch with their Jewish roots.

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JVN/ Charity

WHAT’S THE FUTURE OF

VOLUNTEERING? Our community has always had a strong agenda for looking after vulnerable members. Mike Silverstone, volunteer development manager for the Jewish Volunteering Network (JVN), looks at the future of volunteering ACCORDING TO THE INSTITUTE FOR JEWISH POLICY RESEARCH, 97 percent of Jewish people in the UK give to charity, compared with 57 percent of the general population – and with 60 percent of those giving to both Jewish and non-Jewish charities. But when it comes to volunteering and giving our time, despite the fact that we are also more active than the general population, there is a common thread emerging among people from their mid-20s to late-50s, especially those with full-time jobs. “I’d like to volunteer, but I can’t afford the time,” they say. They are wrong. Of course paid work takes priority over voluntary work, but a job does not necessarily preclude the possibility of volunteering too. To make it look possible we have to bust a few myths, such as:

Myth One: “I’ve seen a volunteering opportunity that might be something I want to do, but there’s no way I could fit it around my schedule.” On first impression this might be the case, but volunteering differs from paid work in that it can be more flexible. Many volunteers do not commit to certain set hours per week, meaning they can fit it in around their own lives. This is especially true of volunteering that can be done from home, with only occasional supervision required. If you find something you’d like to do – and it is very important that you enjoy volunteering – there’s no harm in asking whether hours, or location, can be flexible. Myth two: “I can’t volunteer because I can’t commit regularly enough.” Although it is true that some volunteering

roles require a regular commitment (mostly those where one builds a relationship with someone else), it is not always so. The Jewish Volunteering Network (JVN) aims to facilitate volunteering for all people, and it has recognised potential volunteers have very limited time. Consequently, it provides would-be volunteers with a wide array of one-off volunteering opportunities, on an evening, weekend or at flexible times, with minimal commitment. One-off volunteering comes in all shapes and sizes. The most common are charity events, which are often held on weekends outside of work and school hours in order to attract a greater audience. A few hours on a Sunday can be just as enjoyable and rewarding as other sorts of volunteering, especially if you are contributing to an event that raises thousands for a

Jami provides practical and emotional support for the mental health needs of the Jewish community – delivering services that enable independence and build resilience through:

• • •

good cause. As well as small-scale and largescale events, one-offs also range from leading a discussion group on a specialist subject, to helping an elderly person with their shopping or a spot of gardening. A few hours can make a real difference. JVN has also recently introduced a mobile app available for free – search for JVN in the App Store or Play Store – which specifically highlights upcoming one-off opportunities, sorted by your availability or location. JVN is now recruiting volunteers to help at Jewish Child’s Day’s Party @ the Mall on Sunday, 6 May and the Maccabi GB Community Fun Run on Sunday, 24 June. If you can spare a few hours to assist at a fantastic event, visit jvn.org.uk and follow the links to get involved. The future of volunteering is up to you – but there’s no such word as can’t!

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Helpful hounds / Charity

DOGGIE DELIGHT A project enabling Israelis to have their own guide dogs grows from strength to strength IT WAS JUST OVER 25 YEARS AGO when Noach Braun – a young Israeli who had just finished his three years of national service in the paratroop regiment of the IDF – sat in the Philadelphia home of Jewish businessman and philanthropist Norman Leventhal hoping to

realise his dream. Noach was on a mission. A mission he had been on since leaving the army and discovering there was no way for a blind Israeli to receive a trained guide dog in Israel. Those in need had to pass a rigorous English language proficiency test, travel to either America or the UK and then bring their Englishtrained dog back to Israel, to not only work but also acclimatise to the Israeli way of working and living. Not an easy journey. A quarter of a century later and Noach not only has The Israel Guide Dog Centre for the Blind established in a wonderful location, just south of Tel Aviv, next to the moshav of Beit Oved; but in April the new puppy development and training campus will open, heralding the next big chapter of Noach’s dream. This new campus, with six modern motherand-puppy whelping suites, expanded training kennels, training grounds and additional facilities, will enable the centre to produce even more quality guide dogs. More than 80 percent of the centre’s budget comes from charitable income – and its new facilities need that continued support from the

charity’s dedicated donors, more than ever. The fundraising department has also gone through major changes, and invested heavily in technology, to provide professional and exemplary donor-management services. It undertook a procurement exercise to find the best “fit for service” donor-management database and invested in a system called Donor Perfect, which allows the charity to work more efficiently. Since implementing Donor Perfect, the organisation has managed to engage with donors in a way it never imagined, with a more personalised service. The other big ‘launch’ in 2018 has been the Sponsor a Puppy programme, designed to enable people to donate to, support, and follow a future guide dog, as it works its way from puppy to trained guide dog, over a structured two-year process. Martin Segal, the charity’s UK executive director, says this has been an aspiration since he started working for the charity four years ago. “And now it’s live, and everyone can sponsor a puppy and follow it through training to becoming a working guide dog, helping to give independence to another blind Israeli.” He adds: “We will be launching the Sponsor a

Puppy programme into all Jewish schools later in the year with a new cartoon we are producing especially for our younger supporters.” Blind people use technology all the time, to enhance their independence, with items such as talking watches and voice-activated commands on mobile phones and computers. There is a small research and development department at the guide dog centre which, together with an expert psychologist (generously sponsored by a UK donor), is constantly looking at new systems and technologies that can help blind clients in their day-to-day lives. To donate to some of The Israel Guide Dog Centre’s ‘start-up’ projects, call Martin on 020 8090 3455 or email him at martin@bfigdcb.org. However, to date, the centre has still not found anything that will replace the wonderful and incredible partnership between a trained guide dog and its blind owner. To sponsor a puppy, visit israelguide dog.org.uk/follow-a-puppy The centre loves visitors, so call to arrange a visit when coming to Israel

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Charity /

THE SOUND OF UNDERSTANDING EDUCATION AND PROFESSIONAL training is the central focus for an Israeli charity that has changed the lives of thousands of deaf people. DPII, the Institute for the Advancement of Deaf Persons, provides services and empowerment for Israelis with hearing difficulties, of which there are 200,000 with 10,000 being profoundly deaf. Founded in 1993, the institute has grown from strength to strength and lobbied to ensure deaf students are represented in student unions, with the goal of reducing barriers and

conceiving innovative teaching methods that erode the once-common reliance on listening to lectures. From six students who participated in DPII’s pilot student programme in the 1990s, the courses now reach 350 each year, and these graduates are at the heart of efforts to widen job opportunities to people with hearing difficulties. A considerable chunk of DPII’s work is with children with hearing difficulties, and making sure they do not suffer from abuse or bullying. With 45 deaf individuals trained as sign

SOLDIERS FOR AJEX has remembrance plans for the present – not just the past, reveals Debbie Collins SHOULD THERE BE ANY CONFUSION about what the Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen and Women (AJEX) represents, a visit to its website clarifies matters. There, in a font legible to all, a message states : Remembrance for the sacrifices of the past. Help for those in need in the present. Education for the future. It is a mantra that AJEX has clung to for more than 80 years, honouring and remembering those who served in the British Armed Forces, either during or after the Second World War. As an organisation that fiercely supports members and their families with grants to help with medical, housing and everyday needs, it is AJEX’s annual parade that takes place the week after Remembrance Sunday that has been a fixture on the community calendar. However, in spite of the stalwart presence of those who served year after year, numbers are dwindling. This was sadly inevitable, but the fact

that family members now choose to represent their parents by wearing their medals and remembering their sacrifices, gives a different kind of significance to the march. For Jacques Weisser, AJEX’s executive director, the organisation’s future relies on one thing. “Education. Education. Education! This is key to keeping AJEX moving forward and highlighting those who have served and continue to serve us. “The youth are the future and by taking AJEX into schools – and not just Jewish schools – we can spread this message far and wide about the work that we continue to do.” “The aim is to bring those numbers back up again through people enlisting and encouraging the sterling career choice of the forces,” says Colonel Martin Newman, AJEX’s national chairman. “It’s not just about frontline jobs. It’s an excellent career choice and there are many Jewish people, Orthodox even, serving in the Special Forces, as medics, within the intelligence corps as well as infantry and the reserve forces.” This year, the 11 November parade, rather poignantly on 11/11, marks the centenary of the armistice of the First World War. “It is a great honour that the Government allows us hold a religious ceremony and parade down Whitehall,” says Colonel Newman. An educational morning is planned for the

Ben Crome reveals the history of a charity that helps deaf people in Israel

language storytellers, they broaden access and inclusivity and provide a creative outlet to children, while a standardised nationwide qualification system for sign language interpreters has been set up. Young people represent a central target audience for DPII, as most children born deaf are part of hearing families, making increasing parental awareness a major priority. One of DPII’s peak achievements was the inaugural national Deaf Day in 2009, which offered crash courses in sign language as a vital means of communicating with those with hearing impediments. The institute has reached out to different demographics within Israeli society, with particular investment devoted to the Arabicspeaking population, which uses a different sign language. Another focus group is hard-ofhearing Holocaust survivors, who are encouraged to tell their stories to deaf children using sign language, a method that strengthens ties between generations. In the context of our community, it is useful to know that the DPII has also pioneered

ulpanim for deaf olim needing to learn Hebrew upon arriving in Israel. dpii.org 00972 3 631 1595

ALL TIME

morning of the parade and Weisser is optimistic about the age range of the participants. “We’re hoping for lots of youngsters to come down and learn something, to get involved, and then join in with the parade. The idea is that they can fully participate and really get a sense of ‘I was there’.” A special evening service is planned in March at Bevis Marks Synagogue, open to all via ticket. “It’s going to be a big affair with much fanfare; a celebration of the great and the good,” notes Col Newman. “There will be an induction of three Jewish chaplains, a rededication of two Sefer Torahs and finally a celebration of 350 years of service to the Crown.” With such a big anniversary in the pipeline, the aim during the year is to involve as many

people as possible and raise awareness. There are also plans to appoint a new director of development of operations of AJEX, helping to close of the gap between generations. AJEX is keen for a large presence at Mitzvah Day, so whether it be planting flowers in remembrance, joining the November parade, or even considering a career in the forces, it is all about educating the younger generation and piquing their interest. “As long as Jews continue to serve, we need an organisation like AJEX” says Col Newman, with the conviction of a soldier. For more information about AJEX and future events, call 020 8202 2323 or visit ajex.org.uk


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IT’S ALL ABOUT THE

CHILDREN There’s only one Jewish charity focused on parenthood. Debbie Collins reports on Chana HAVE YOU EVER TRIED STOPPING A Jewish grandparent from showing you a photo of their grandchild, or asked a Jewish mother to refrain from beaming with pride at her brood? Obviously not, as we as a people are all about the children, which makes it that much harder for those who are struggling with conception. For a very long time, infertility felt like a taboo subject in a community so blessed with offspring, but then Chana came to their rescue. For more than 20 years, the charity has been giving emotional and practical support to Jewish couples of all ages who are experiencing varying levels of infertility. Awkward and often heartbreaking to discuss among even the closest of friends, Chana is able to offer many levels of support via a dedicated team of specialist staff. Its fully confidential, non-discriminatory policy means that, for many, Chana is the hope they have been desperately looking for, whether they have been trying for a month, six months, a year or perhaps even longer. “Each case is treated with the same level of care and attention,” says Louisa Goott, fundraising and community development co-ordinator. “Chana will support couples or individuals at any stage in their journey.” While a GP is usually the first step in seeking help, owing to short appointment times and often a lack of counselling provision, they simply cannot dedicate the necessary time and attention. In cases where couples, especially older ones, perhaps feel they have been met by a brick wall, Chana will try to step in and facilitate a way to access different routes and options before perhaps needing to go into the private sector. Every couple meets Chana’s clinical manager at the outset so the charity can match the couple to the most appropriately trained support workers depending on the their needs. Chana’s in-house scientific advisor, Dr Veronique Berman, says: “Support workers, trained to the highest level in the field of fertility and psychosexual counselling, will help couples to research and explore other options like donor gametes or surrogacy. “More importantly, they will work with the couple to find coping strategies in whichever situation the couple find themselves.” If the idea of face-to face support is too

Disability, not dependency.

Michael worried that going blind at just 40 years old would signal the loss of his much prized independence. However, in his specially designed Jewish Blind & Disabled apartment he can continue to live life as he chooses, and not as his disability might otherwise dictate. TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT HOW WE GIVE THE GIFT OF INDEPENDENCE OR TO MAKE A DONATION VISIT WWW.JBD.ORG OR CALL 020 8371 6611

much, many start by calling Chana’s helpline service, where all calls remain confidential and anonymous. Staffed by fully qualified counsellors, the charity can offer professional help in the form of emotional support, advice, and, where appropriate, access the medical panel or financial support for the couples. “We have clients across the country as well as overseas,” explains Louisa. “Our support workers speak several languages, including Hebrew, French, German and Yiddish. In some cases, callers will ask a question and the support worker will be able to give them an answer on the spot. Otherwise, they may invite the person to visit so they can meet our clinical manager to discuss the range of services Chana offers and how we can best help.” Fertility issues are no longer seen as simply ‘women’s problems’, and Chana has eight women and three male support workers on its team. “Chana sees both members of the couple together, or separately, whichever is preferred,” adds Veronique. “And we are acutely aware of the impact that fertility issues have on both members of the couple.” Chana is totally reliant on community generosity, both financially and physically. Volunteers are welcomed in to assist with administrative tasks, as well as hosting fundraisers such as ‘T-cember’. This March, the charity is holding its ‘webinar’: an interactive online seminar whereby questions can be submitted live in text form to protect the anonymity of the questioner.

ENABLED

For more information about Chana: Helpline: 020 8201 5774 / Office: 020 8203 8455 Email: info@chana.org.uk chana.org.uk


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