It was a tremendous privilege to kindle friendships this summer with so many communities and youth whose concept of doing for others and giving of themselves are traits deeply rooted in their DNA.
Elkana community: Bat Melech shelters were hosted in the amazing community of Elkana. In spite of the fact that Tisha B’Av has passed and the season of vacation trips and amusement was upon them, dozens of teenagers and adults chose instead to forgo their vacation for a day, to remain in the community proper and partake in a special day organized for the benefit of the shelter residents and their children. The women enjoyed a day filled with beauty treatments and relaxing massages; a comedy show by the hilarious standup comedian, Noya Mandel, whose routine left the spectators practically in tears; instructions in jewelry design made from coffee capsules. In summation, the women enjoyed an extremely relaxing and stress-free day. The children, in the meantime, enjoyed the swimming pool, several educational and creative workshops, played soccer, jamboree and a multitude of interesting and stimulating activities. The community’s teenagers who volunteered to mentor the shelters’ children, projected an exemplary sense of maturity and responsibility as Big Brothers for the day.
Shomria community: Mirymi’s served her civil service stint in the Bat Melech shelter in the valley. Upon hearing that we are looking for a community willing to undertake upon itself the task of promoting three days of vacation for the shelter’s women and children, she knew immediately which community is the right one. Her mind knew clearly that it will be Shomria community and its youth, the community she lives in. Shomria’s youth, without exception, volunteered for the project, leaders of the community contributed as much of their time as possible and wonderful women lent their help and talents to bring about three unforgettable days for the shelter’s children and the women who are in the process of rehabilitation. The community organized special projects, each uniquely designed and prepared to fit the diverse age groups and allowed each boy and girl to feel like any other child. In addition, the community organized many interesting workshops for the mothers – ceramics, cake decorations, sport, swimming and lectures on self-confidence and self-determination. One of the most emotionally laden nights for the women was when one of the community’s women related in detail the expulsion from Gush Katif. This shook up the women and created a bond with the Gush Katif people. They saw a similarity between those whose home was destroyed and themselves. In both instances a brighter, newer future was and will be created.
Yad Binyamin community: In the reflective days between Shivah Asar Be’Tamuz and Tisha Be’Av, two phenomena are apparent and plentiful. One topic is: the never-ending discussion revolving around the subject of loving others without a specific reason and the second is the increase in additional good deeds we all can spread around. During their stay with us, the women and children in the Bat Melech shelters are privileged to become associated with remarkable communities who spread amazing light and clarity all around and the statement ‘Loving Without A Reason,’ is not simply a phrase but their way of life.
The Yad Binyamin community has for many years been involved in organizing a fun and activities laden day enjoyed by the residents and children of the Bat Melech shelters. It is a day produced lovingly and sensitively and every minute of that day has another pleasant surprise for everyone’s enjoyment and pleasure. The attention to every detail was simply awe-inspiring and fascinating. Within the context of this wonderful day of fun, the women and children enjoyed many attractions and special activities, each designed to appropriately fit the varied ages of the children –the building of wooden stools, blowing up balloons, facial makeup, and many other creative activities. And the women, of course, were pampered and joined in many activities specially designed for them.
Necholim community: As it has routinely become, this summer too, the women and children from one of Bat Melech’s shelters were treated to a three-day vacation, graciously and voluntarily organized by Nechalim, a delightful and unique community of caring and sensitive people. Nechalim took upon its shoulders the task of infusing the residents and their children with the delightful, regular, relaxing and enjoyable summer, full of new experiences, especially intended to set aside for a while the arduous and complicated struggle of rehabilitating their lives. The administration of Yeshivat Bnei Akiva-Nechalim, enthusiastically took part in this wonderful project and graciously and lovingly hosted the women, the children, and the Bat Melech staff, in the Yeshiva’s facilities.
In the framework of this vacation, a slew of activities and attractions were organized and displayed by warm-hearted individuals and deeply caring business owners, for whom the plight of our residents and children drove them to eagerly be part of the exceptional project. Mothers and children enjoyed swimming in the pool, plays, balloons, magic shows, cosmeticians, cake decorating workshops and other exciting, entertaining projects. Most important of all, was the direct and personal connection that was developed with such a warm and special community, with the openness of discussions and sharing of thoughts. And of course, the ‘Big Brothers’ who joined our group for the special few days. How wonderful it was to realize how many truly good and wonderful people there are out there, outside of Bat Melech’s shelters, who do so much for others without ever a thought of compensation or reward. Mi Ke’amcha Yisrael!
At the conclusion of the event, Y., a Bat Melech resident delivered an emotional ‘Thank You’ to the community and said the following: “I am in literal shock and trying to comprehend the unbelievable boost in energy you have given us. The planning and logistics you put in place for a smooth and amazing event are beyond description. You made sure that both our physical and emotional needs are taken care of to their fullest. It was a truly flawless vacation, not an iota was missing from its perfection. The abundance of your giving which was done with the a feeling hearts was evident every minute of every day. I hope and pray that you will always be from the givers and hopefully, someday soon, we too will join the amazing circle of givers. Thank you.”