When our children celebrate a birthday or special milestone, we give gifts or special treats to make the day special. At Emunah's Neve Michael it is no different. Neve Michael has created a special Birthday Room. The shelves are filled with toys and games to enchant children of all ages.
You cannot imagine the excitement as the birthday child enters this wondrous room where they can choose any item as their very own birthday gift. Such a simple idea makes such a difference. Many of the children are for the first time able to choose something special all for themselves. It sends an important message that we KNOW they are worth celebrating!
When you celebrate the children in your life, show our kids at Neve Michael are worth celebrating and buy a gift for the Birthday Room.
Find out how you can share your loved one's birthday celebration with the children at Neve Michael. Click Here
"Cheder Esther" Birthday Room
Esther Friedman z”l was Emunah through and through. As a girl in Montreal she was part of a Mizrachi family and her father was in Hapoel Hamizrachi. When she moved to Ottawa as a bride, she was very active in Mizrachi Women, alongside her sister in law Marion Bessin z”l who had brought Mizrachi to Canada a few years before. When Esther made aliya in 1969, it was only natural that she would co-found the Netanya English speaking Emunah Geula
chapter. Geula grew to be the second largest English speaking chapter in the country. In the early years the work was direct and hands-on. Each year the Geula chapter raised money to buy bar and bat mitzvah clothes for the children in Netanya’s Bet Elazraki, an Emunah Children’s Home. Each child was paired with a “doda” who took them shopping to choose their own clothes and shoes. Not only was this the first time any of these children had been shopping, for many of them this was the first time they ever had brand new clothes.
Some were astonished that they didn’t have to give the clothes back. These hands on acts of service were a highlight of the Emunah members’ lives: they could actually see how powerful their chessed was. And quite often the “doda” would add more money to the per child budget so the gift was perfectly personalized. Naturally, the excursion always ended with ice cream. Those days of one on one contact with the children are gone, but the volunteering and fundraising continue for life. Esther was delighted but not surprised when her great niece, Bracha Aronson became President of Toronto Emunah. That uber proud feeling continued when her niece Zippy Zweibel took over the presidency. One of Esther’s granddaughters twinned with the kids of Bet Elazraki for her own bat mitzvah. Another granddaughter chose to have her bat mitzvah at Neve Michael with all the bat mitzvah girls as co-celebrants. Working for Emunah is a family thing in every generation of this family. Esther wanted the children to “just be kids”. They had been removed from unsafe family homes and now everything possible was being done to normalize their lives.
At Neve Michael Children’s Village there is a complete toy store stocked with games, dolls, toys, puzzles and whatever the hottest new thing is. On their birthday, each child gets to go to the locked room and be the only customer in the store, picking whatever they want. The experience is powerful for the children and the staff.
This Shabbat Chanukah is Esther Friedman’s first yahrzheit. In her honour, her children Orri and Hanna (Carmiel), Ronitte and Kusiel (Toronto) and Avi and Gail (New York) have dedicated the Cheder Esther Birthday Room at Neve Michael. The average monthly cost to keep the room fully stocked with quality items is about $650.
Choose "Cheder Esther" from the drop down. DONATE HERE