18 Sivan, 5783
7 June, 2023
Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, Your Honor Mayor Benny Kasriel, Deputy and Vice Mayor Mr. Guy Yifrah, Deputy Mayor Mr. Boris Grossman, Rabbi Eli Kaplan, donors, volunteers, friends and members of the Children’s Friends Foundation and my colleagues who are always at my side, Hanna Douek, Ronit Ashkenazi, Margalit Jenty, David Amon, Smadar Tikva and Naama Kaptowsky.
Twenty years ago, I had a dream, a dream that took shape; it began by chance when one day my dear daughter returned from school and told me that her classmate who sat next to her asked to borrow a textbook from her as she did not have one. I spoke with the school principal and I realized that a number of children were coming to school without equipment, I immediately addressed this matter, recruited work colleagues who were happy to donate money for this purpose and it all started there and developed until this day. The thoughts and ideas began to take shape, I established the foundation with a few friends and from there we began to work for the sake of children from Ma’ale Adumim, to dream of an afterschool club for children at risk, which did not yet exist in the city. I told the manager of the welfare department, the vice mayor and the mayor of these dreams, they were glad to help and we started out on our path.
Today it is my privilege to stand here with you, in an event to mark 20 years of the Foundation’s activity.
To me, all of you here are one big family and I want to thank and honor each one of you – I won’t mention names in case I forget someone.
There are dear people here who have helped me to fulfill the small dream that over the years has turned into many big dreams, thanks to which many children and teenagers have received help and financial, emotional and social support, a guiding hand, a warm embrace, good advice and hope for a better future.
Each one of you has a part in this whether through a financial donation, emotional support, volunteering in one way or another in one of the many projects over the years, in joint thinking about what more remains to be done and whom, where and how it is possible to help.
Thanks to dear friends the Foundation has grown and developed and become what it is today – a Foundation for which Ma’ale Adumim is its home and its beating heart.
Over the years we have also discovered that other cities need our help and we wholeheartedly extend a helping hand to them.
This evening I want to mention good friends who helped us from the beginning of our path and regrettably are no longer with us:
The late Mr. Nurel Getz who was our guiding hand, gave good advice and mainly supported us.
The late Mr. Rafael Marouani – a dear member of the Foundation who always smiled and wondered how many dreams I had. But he was always there to support, to seek ideas of how to help and mainly to raise significant donations.
The late Mr. Yisrael Goldstein – a special, quiet and sharp man, full of ideas, always with long-term thinking.
The late Rahel – the house mother in our first club who was with us for many years, provided so much warmth and love and aromas of hot food, tasty cooking and cakes and gave so many children the feeling of a real home, sometimes the only one they really knew over the years.
The late Mr. Eli Har Nir – whose door as director-general of the municipality was always open for us, with a listening ear for any request and with the warmest heart there was.
I am witness to the process that the children underwent, I meet them as adults in the stations in their lives – from a small child, to a youth, a soldier, a parent and a teacher, and I hear their gratitude for what they received, which fills my heart with joy and emotion. This week I met a mother and daughter shopping for a wedding and the daughter said to me that she will never forget everything she received in the Foundation thanks to which she has reached this wonderful and happy day.
Therefore, we decided this evening to advance another idea for the community of students and as a start we will give scholarships to 3 students known to the welfare department.
We will continue always with the important statement – every child is an equal among equals!!!
I am glad to see all of you, to thank you wholeheartedly and to wish us to continue to be partners in the future.
I am glad to say that in the 20 years that have passed there is no dream that we have not fulfilled in the Foundation and please God I hope that I will continue to fulfill all the dreams for the children who need us.