2 minutes reading time
As the majority of Emunah’s Neve Michael children go home for the month of August, an intimate and meaningful Bat Mitzvah Celebration was held for Nediva Aspler and Kiki (Kyra) Witt, of Montreal. Also joining in the festivities was Mrs. Dorothy Cohen of Toronto, who came with her two granddaughters from New Jersey.
Before the activities began, the Aspler, Witt, and Cohen families, were imparted with an in depth explanation of the crucial role Emunah’s Neve Michael plays in giving some Israeli children the stable and loving environment which their own families are unable to provide. Both Hava Levene and Rachel Bargad had the opportunity to answer the many interesting questions posed by the group, focusing on bright and inquisitive queries of the families’ children. This was a very advantageous and fruitful discussion, giving great insight to the Canadian visitors, especially the children, as to the numerous hardships many of their Israeli contemporaries have had to endure before being sent to live at Emunah’s Neve Michael.
Following the Hafrashat Challah ritual and baking of Challot, the Aspler, Witt and Cohen families were divided into 2 groups, and given a tour of varying facilities within the village. The (visiting) kids led by a group of Neve Michael children, got to see up close what exactly a Mishpachton is, and how the children of the village live their daily lives. It was a very eye (and mind) opening experience for North American girls, who are being raised in normative family circumstances. They got to see first-hand how Neve Michael strives to achieve a welcoming, calm and homey environment for these children who had such a devastating start to their young lives.
While the group of children were busy checking out the Mishpachtonim, and basketball court, the adults were guided by Hava Levene through the Teenage Crisis Center. Due to the often traumatic and tragic circumstances which lead to a child being placed (by court order) to the Crisis center, no outside children are allowed into its premises. The children of the crisis center do not even intermingle with rest of the children in Neve Michael. Visitors can only gain access to the Crisis Center when escorted Hava Levene, or David Fridman, the Director of the village.
Once the 2 groups were done with their tours, everyone re-convened to the Dining Room for a filling and tasty lunch, topped off by popsicles for a cool and refreshing desert. Notwithstanding the modest number of Neve Michael children in attendance, the experience was informative, enjoyable, and special for all our visitors.