Newsletter - Spring Summer 2014

Youth Aliyah 80th Anniversary Gala Dinner

Rabbi Lau speaking at podium

On Tuesday 4th February, 560 guests joined Youth Aliyah Child Rescue to celebrate their 80th anniversary at Guildhall. All proceeds will be going towards building a new, state of the art, Therapy Centre at the Talpiot Youth Village to help cope with the growing numbers of ‘at-risk’ children and their families in need of support.

With huge thanks to Ella Latchman our Life President and the Maurice and Vivienne Wohl Philanthropic Foundation we were delighted to welcome former Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau to speak at the event. Rabbi Lau talked about his harrowing experiences following the Holocaust as a young child. He explained that his journey, escaping persecution and abuse to the safety and warmth of what was to become the Jewish state, bears a striking resemblance to the life experience of many of the young people that Youth Aliyah helps today. Knesset member Shimon Solomon and former resident of Youth Aliyah Child Rescue home in Talpiot, addressed the guests crediting, much of what he has achieved in his life to the support of Youth Aliyah. Israeli Ambassador to the UK, Daniel Taub and Professor David Latchman CBE also addressed the guests.

Rabbi Lau said: “At 8 years old and almost at the end of the war, my brother said to me if a miracle happens and you survive, ask to go to Eretz Yisroel, the place of the Jewish people. If you look in the Jewish Agency records today you will see my thumbprint, it was my signature, joining the first Youth Aliyah. This is why I felt a duty to be here today – I owe it to Youth Aliyah.”

Shimon Solomon MK said: “I came from Ethiopia in the 1980s to Israel, Youth Aliyah became my second home, Talpiot gave me a place of security together with the belief that the sky is the limit.”

Aloney Yitzhak: Day of Support for the Youth Villages

Group of young people pose for camera

Yitzchak Agilevo, a 12th grade student at Aloney Yitzchak, was the star of the short film made about the Youth Villages in Israel. The film was screened at the first ever ‘Day of Support for the Youth Villages’ attended by over 450 people including 16 Knesset members, alumni, philanthropists and many others.

Yitzchak talks about how when he came to Israel he was ‘a little wild and always looking for action’ but on arrival at the village aged 12 it was ‘love at first sight’! The video (in Hebrew) can be seen at http://youtu.be/ywD7TcrXyyA . More about the day can also be seen at www.fkn.org.il/knesset_event_2014

Neveh Hadassah: Congratulations all around

Group of young people with decorated cut out human shapes

Neveh Hadassah was one of 40 schools who participated in the ‘Culture of Israel’ exhibition at the Ministry of Education in Tel Aviv. The central theme of the exhibition was ‘Ethics of the Fathers’. Several eight grade students created beautiful pieces of art for the exhibition and two of the pieces won third place.

Mazel tov to the Neveh Hadassah girls netball team who won first place at the Ministry of Education’s netball tournament in January.

Talpiot: Families Reunite

Audience of younger and older people in hall

Talpiot were delighted to welcome the parents of the 120 children who live in the village to their annual ‘family day’. This day is extremely important in the Talpiot calendar as its uniqueness is treating the whole family for the benefit of the child. Extensive planning is invested to ensure that the parents and the children enjoy memorable hours together.

The families enjoyed a performance from a well known group called Revivo’s Project and then the children took to the stage themselves. The rest of the day was spent in the children’s family units and ended with a lovely dinner.

T.O.M.: State of the Art

Inside of auditorium

The first performance at the wonderful new state of the art Auditorium at TOM was thoroughly enjoyed by the staff and pupils who celebrated this wonderful project which would not have been possible without the generous support of the Maurice and Vivienne Wohl Philanthropic Foundation.

The Auditorium which is built underneath the ‘Mishkan Emanuel’ Synagogue (named after the late Emanuel Latchman) seats 400 people and will serve to expose the boys to a world of culture. The hall will also be used for exams and can also serve as an underground shelter should the unfortunate need arise. It has already been booked by outside groups which will provide a great source of income for the upkeep of the Auditorium.

T.O.M. is looking forward to welcoming our Life President, Ella Latchman and Professor David Latchman CBE of the Maurice and Vivienne Wohl Philanthropic Foundation to the official inauguration of the Auditorium this Spring along with many of our supporters. We are also honoured to be joined by Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau. The inauguration will be followed by a celebratory lunch for our guests.

Yemin Orde: Lego, Not Just for Kids!

Group of young people wearing yellow T-shirts

This month, the First Lego League (FFL) in Israel held its annual competition. Yemin Orde was proudly represented at this event and came in 10th with an honorable mention.

Each year the FFL competition chooses a theme, which allows the teams to apply their knowledge to real situations. This year’s theme was “nature’s fury”, and with the Carmel fire of 2010 still a part of Yemin Orde’s recent memory, it was natural that the Yemin Orde team chose wildfires as a focus. The team spent time interviewing members of the local fire department and identifying problems that arise in wildfires. The Yemin Orde team learned about the difficulty of seeing what’s happening beyond the flames of a wildfire, due to the heat and the height of the flames. The team solved the problem with a special instrument, held by a balloon that could rise over the flames to see what was happening. On the day of the competition, the team presented their solution to the judges.

March saw the official opening of the newly built staff homes at Yemin Orde which were built in partnership with donations from the British Supporters of Youth Aliyah Child Rescue with some help from our friends in Germany, Kinder- und Jugen d’aliyah. The staff were absolutely thrilled to move into their new dwellings after living in such primitive conditions following the devastating Yemin Orde fire of 2010. We were thrilled to welcome to the ceremony longstanding supporters and friends of Youth Aliyah Child Rescue, Brian and Jane Leaver.

Mechina Hatzoar: Discovering Identity

Group of young men

Each month some of the Mechina students participate in a special seminar week travelling around Israel to learn about a variety of topics. Previous weekly topics have included Identity week which involved the students analysing their own identities on a social and individual level.

As immigrants and sons of immigrants this was a particularly challenging for some students and it touched on feelings such as shame and exclusion. They have also focused on Jerusalem week involving a visit to Jerusalem, focusing their attention on Jewish Heritage and Zionism. The students took over the tour guiding as part of their leadership training.

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