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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Chesed Mission 2017/5777: Day 2

This morning we started our first full day of chesed. Our first stop was to Ilanot School for Special Education. This school focuses specifically on helping students with Cerebral Palsy and other disabilities. We gathered as an audience to listen to their special choir, led by Cheryl Leiberman (HS '04) who made aliyah and is the choir director. The students showcased songs that the choir has been practicing for months.
Our next stop was to Haddasah Medical Center where we visited sick children, gave them presents and fulfilled the mitzvah of bikor cholim. Each patient was given a present, reciprocating the gift with large smiles and hugs from the children in the hospital.
Then, we visited Mount Herzl, which is Israel's national cemetery site and learned about many soldiers who died to protect Israel. It was very inspiring to hear each of their stories. There, we were able to fulfill the mitzvah of chesed shel emet.
Next, we went to the Shalva National Children's Center, which provides high quality care for individuals with disabilities, empowering their families and promoting social inclusion. This organization is focused on caring for and nurturing children with special needs, also helping alleviate pressure from parents of these children and provide them with an opportunity to care for their homes without worrying about the wellbeing of their children. We learned about Shalva's new facilities and all of the programs that Shalva is now able to run in its new home. We also had the opportunity to dance and interact with the children. Shalva was such a great experience because when we put smiles on their faces it made all of us even happier.
Our last stop for the night was to hear from and interact with injured Israeli soldiers, though an organization called Tikvot. Tikvot aims to rehabilitate injured soldiers and help them lead productive and proactive lives. We heard from soldiers about their personal experience when and how they were wounded. This organization gives hope to the injured soldiers through therapeutic rehabilitation. We experienced one of these therapeutic methods by rock-climbing with the soldiers.  ~Gabrielle Sharaby, 2018

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Chesed Mission 2017/5777: Day 2