Keren Or Insights Spring Newsletter '11

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Jerusalem Center for Blind Children with Multiple Disabilities

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Baking for Keren Or Keren Or is lucky to have such dedicated young supporters as Ally Herrnson, 11, of New York City and Jordana Putterman, 8, of Woodland Hills, CA. These two extraordinary young people were so inspired by the mission of Keren Or and the children that we help, that Ally and Jordana had the same idea, thousands of miles apart, to raise money for Keren Or by organizing bake sales. We featured Jordana’s first gift to Keren Or and her letter in our October E-Newsletter, and she wrote a new letter to us after her bake sale that she organized with her brother:

“Dear Keren Or, In October, one Shabbat, my brother, Ariel, and I talked about how we could raise even more money for our charities. We decided to do a bake sale. The next Sunday we spent the whole day baking and the next day we delivered the cookies. This is the menu: snicker doodles and chocolate chip cookies for 50 cents, blondies and brownies for $1. I hope I can continue to raise more money for you, and I hope my donation helps the children at Keren Or. From, Jordana Puterman”

Jordana and Ariel Putterman prepare the batter for their cookie sale

Ally learned about Keren Or in one of her classes at Sutton Place Synagogue Hebrew School in New York City as part of a lesson on Judaism and social justice. She was so inspired by what she learned that she organized a bake sale during her winter vacation to benefit Keren Or. Jordana and Ally each sent in their money which will help children their ages at Keren Or’s Center in Jerusalem. We thank Jordana and Ally for their generosity and we hope this reminds all of our readers that no matter your age, you can make a difference in the lives of the children at Keren Or.

Bnot Sherut

Bnot Sherut at Keren Or

Keren Or is lucky to host a number of Bnot Sherut, young Israeli women who spend a full year with us as part of their national civil service. They assist in our classrooms or live in our dormitory, working closely with the residents. For a young person whose world can be limited because of blindness and other disabilities, the opportunity to spend time with these Bnot Sherut is wonderful. It is extraordinary to see these young women give such love, care and joy to our students. We thank them for their continued service and for making the lives of the children and young adults at Keren Or that much brighter.


Keren Or Has Gone Social! Not only can you find a Keren Or presence at our offices and on our website, but Keren Or now has a presence on a number of social media websites: Facebook Twitter Jumo In our consistent efforts to remain current, Keren Or has created a presence on the popular social networking and micro-blogging websites, as well as start-up Jumo, a social network which aims to connect people with nonprofits and charitable organizations. Log on to any of these websites, search for Keren Or, and stay connected in a new way. We post photos, videos, updates about events, and opportunities to get involved. Join the conversation and “like” our Facebook page, and follow us on Twitter and Jumo. Tell us how we can better engage you, and share with your friends why you support Keren Or and our efforts to provide for the needs of Israel’s blind, multi-disabled youth. You can also learn more about us on the websites of Charity Navigator and Guidestar, two premier charity evaluation organizations, and see our positive ratings at Great Nonprofits. You can take part too; spread the word about the important work that Keren Or does to improve the lives of Israel’s blind multi-disabled youth by posting your own review.

Israeli Soldiers Volunteer at Avukat Or A number of Israeli soldiers took time away from their unit to volunteer at Keren Or’s day center for adults who are blind and multidisabled, "Avukat Or." The center employs special intervention techniques, an adapted work space, constant stimulation, and a high staff/adult ratio in order to best reach our program attendees. Like all adults, the participants need purpose and a sense of achievement in their daily lives. Avukat Or offers a full, meaningful daily schedule with specially adapted work opportunities, a wage system, opportunity for social contact, and various forms of therapy for their 24 participants. Moreover, the work done at Avukat Or is so reliable that about 14 retailers contract to use the services of Avukat Or. Frequently, individuals from army units and youth groups volunteer their time at Avukat Or. Recently, a group of soldiers from the military police came to volunteer their time at Avukat Or. They brought snacks Israeli soldiers assemble party bags for the students, and then spent several hours helping the participants with the students of Avukat Or with their work of assembling party bags, and packing up the bags that had been ordered by one of the retailers that works with Avukat Or. Even as the day grew late and it was time for the army unit to leave, the soldiers enjoyed their time so much that they refused to leave until all the work was completed.

Visit the Center Planning to travel to Israel this summer? Visit the Keren Or Center in Jerusalem and see firsthand the state-of-the-art facilities, the amazing work of our staff, and the smiles on the faces of our students. We can only succeed in advancing programs for our students’ special needs with your involvement and support. So when you return from your visit, we also

encourage you to share your experiences with your home communities, so that they too can understand the importance of caring for these children. If you are interested, please call 212-279-4070 or in Israel 073-240-0201 and we would be more than happy to arrange a short tour of the facilities.


Light of the Future Keren Or Young Leadership members came out for a night under the stars for Light of the Future, an evening to celebrate rising leaders committed to Keren Or’s mission. Over 100 attendees gathered at Hudson Terrace, with a breathtaking view of the Hudson River on one side and the skyline of midtown Manhattan on the other.

Elana Dushey spoke movingly about her commitment to Keren Or and the involvement of her late father, Albert Hornblass, who for so many years dedicated his time to supporting the organization. Members of the Board of Directors mingled with the crowd, attendees enjoyed hors d’oeuvres, and before the evening concluded winners of the silent auction were announced, with prizes including tickets to the New York Philharmonic, handmade jewelry, and a custom suit fitting. The evening raised nearly $5,000, promoted awareness of the need for support for Keren Or by people of all ages, and marked the continued growth of Keren Or Young Leadership.

Tu B’Shevat Celebrations A highlight for many students at Keren Or is celebrating Jewish holidays and taking field trips outside of the Center. At the beginning of spring they were able to do both! In celebration of Tu B’Shevat, the Jewish New Year for Trees, the children and young adults at Keren Or embarked on a field trip to one of the lush forests, operated by JNF, in Israel and planted sapling trees. This activity, similar to the gardening program at the Center, is a terrific way for Keren Or students to learn through touch. Students are able to feel the moist, rich soil as they plant the young tree, and then pack the soil back around the base of the sapling to ensure its stability and growth. On the holiday of Tu B’Shevat there is also a custom to eat a vaPlanting a tree for Tu B’Shevat riety of fruits and nuts that are grown in Israel. Upon returning to the Center, the children and young adults of Keren Or had a Tu B’Shevat party where they tasted some of the traditional foods eaten on Tu B’Shevat, such as figs, dates, and almonds. Holiday activities like these stimulate the children and engage them in Jewish holidays, customs, and traditions. The smiles on their faces are proof of their enjoyment of these special celebrations.

Charity Navigator has awarded Keren Or its highest rating of Four Stars. At Keren Or Inc., 93 cents of every dollar goes directly to funding the blind and multi-disabled children and young adults at the Keren Or Center in Jerusalem. Visit to learn more about Keren Or and to see the smiles of our students that make all of our hard work worthwhile.


Jerusalem Center for Blind Children with Multiple Disabilities

Board of Directors Edward L. Steinberg, M.Sc., O.D., Chairman Jay Goldsmith, President Steven Rothschild, Vice-President Eliot Lauer, Secretary Jack Gross, Treasurer Rabbi Benjamin Blech Steven Grill Ben Lopata Jeffrey Parker Simeon Schreiber Jacques Semmelman Howard Usher Lee Weinbach Ester Wolf

Women’s Division Marilyn Lauer, Chair Nicole Appleman Debra Parkoff Presidium Sherri Herring Judy Levine Linda Rothschild Rose Schreiber Vice Presidents Tamara Silberberg Director, Keren Or Center Jerusalem

In This

Baking for Keren Or Light of the Future Tu B’Shevat Celebrations Israeli Soldiers Volunteer at Avukat Or

To Make a Donation, visit

350 Seventh Avenue, Suite 701, New York, NY 10001 (212) 279 4070 fax (212) 279 4043

Jerusalem Center for Blind Children with Multiple Disabilities NON PROFIT ORG. US POSTAGE PAID PERMIT #41 LAKEWOOD,NJ

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