2 minutes reading time
World Emunah recently had the special privilege of accompanying a group of Canadians, on a mission with one of the largest orthodox shuls in Canada, BAYT (Beth Avraham Yoseph of Toronto).
As the bus made its way down to Ashkelon, the tour guide made note of the many points of interest and rich history throughout the Judean Hills. Upon arrival at Emunah’s Multipurpose Day Care Center in Ashkelon, the group was greeted by the facility’s Director, Shosh Omer. With her usual ebullient flair, Shosh gave the group a tour of the Center. She explained to the crowd how many of the Day Care Center’s children are there from morning until night, returning to their homes bathed, fed and all ready for bed. The children in her care range from just a few months old to almost four years of age. They are divided up into different rooms, according to age.
Shosh explained that many of the children come from the lower socio-economic sectors of society, and many parents require, and receive through Emunah’s program, guidance and seminars on how to better parent their children. One new initiative the Day Care Center is currently undertaking is the development of a Library. Unfortunately, reading to young children does not come naturally to everyone, and Shosh has enlisted the help of student Social Workers to instruct the parents how to read to their children, thus imparting an appetite and appreciation for reading books, reading and knowledge.
Through the very generous joint efforts of Emunah Canada and the BAYT Mission, over 30 new books and a number of educational games were donated by the group, in order to facilitate the opening of the new library.
Ever the gracious host, Shosh set up some lovely refreshments, and answered various questions posed by the Canadian visitors. One key point of interest to the group, was the effect of last summer’s war (Operation Protective Edge) on the children of the Day Care Center. Since Ashkelon is located in the south of the country, the Home Front Command issued a closure of all day care centers in the area. Shosh and her staff were in daily communication with the parents, to ensure that all safety measures were taken to keep the children secure. Many children, however, regressed not only during the period of the war itself, but still suffer from the residual effects of shell shock.
The group took a keen interest in all the efforts taken by Emunah’s Ashkelon Day Care Center Program and the special care the staff provides for the children of the Center.