Of the many therapies practiced in the Zion Orphanage, child psychologist Jacob Shapira has found Play Therapy amazingly effective in helping the children open up and share their inner worlds. Once surfaced, fears, anxieties, phobias and more can then be dealt with. Other therapies available include Speech, Occupational, Art and Animal-assisted therapy.
Today marks the beginning of Adar, perhaps best known for the festive holiday of Purim which occurs during the middle of the month. In exciting anticipation of the day on which there is a custom to dress in a costume in order to appear different, one of the ZO arts and crafts projects is to make custom-made masks to be worn on Purim. First, plaster is placed on the face and left to dry. Then, the mask is painted with the option to attach items such as feathers.
Special thanks to our friends from a synagogue from New York. They brought us a yearly “Toys for Jerusalem” campaign, with tens of Lego boxes for the Zion Orphanage children. Each one of the children took great pleasure in piecing together his new gift.
As the LEGO song goes, everything is awesome! Everything is cool when you’re part of a team!
It’s been a great Chanukah at Zion Orphanage. Four ZO Bar Mitzvah boys enjoyed an extravagant party in their honor. It took place in the campus courtyard which was covered by a huge tent which protected the hundreds of participants from the cold Jerusalem winter air. Highlighting the party was each of their Bar Mitzvah speeches, the ZO choir, a visit by Israel Chief Rabbi Yitzchok Yosef, Knesset member Uri Maklev and of course delicious food, as well as fine (loud) music.
In anticipation of the eight day festival of lights known as Chanukah, the ZO children are hard at work preparing their holiday art work. Pictured are a few of their works of art, some completed yet most needing more time. If you happen to be in Jerusalem next Tuesday evening, the first night of Chanukah, join us for a large Chanukah and Bar Mitzvah dinner celebration for four of our 13 year old boys. Besides the cherished participants, the evening will include the participation of Israel Chief Rabbi Yizchok Yosef. If you will be able to attend, please send us an email so we will know how much food to order.
Although rain has been falling throughout most of the country this week, including today, the ZO children woke up this morning at 5:00 am and drove south from Jerusalem down towards the Dead Sea. As they approached the lowest land on earth they found a beautiful clear-blue sky and springtime weather, perfect for a full day of all sorts of activities including hiking, climbing and jeeping.
In Northern Israel at the city of Tiberias is where the grave site of the great Torah sage Rabbi Akiva is buried. The Talmud relates that when Moses was shown future generations and reached Rabbi Akiva who lived over 1000 years later, he was in awe of his greatness in Torah. Then Moses was shown Rabbi Akiva dying a martyr’s death at the hands of the Romans and asked God, “Is this the reward for such greatness?!” Responded God to Moses that His ways are always for the good yet they are equally as hidden for the sake of free-will. Pictured are ZO boys praying at Rabbi Akiva’s grave during a recent trip.
Successful rehabilitation of the children following death, illness or abuse during their highly vulnerable earliest years of life in their home requires a multi-faceted program. Besides an education with an option to provide individual assistance and therapies, athletics is crucial. Of the many forms of exercise, soccer and basketball are played on the rooftop concrete sports area (pictured). We are yearning for the day there will be enough financial assistance to enable us to build a brand new rooftop sports arena/area.
Thank you to all who generously contributed towards the campaign to provide the animals, birds and reptiles in the on-campus mini-zoo with a custom heating and air-conditioning unit. The next campaign will be to replace the older computers that will be capable of handling the new generation of computer games.
The Talmud states, “Each blade of grass in the world has its personal angel standing over it and exhorting it to grow”. The Zion Orphanage founder, Rabbi Blumenthal would add,”If every part of creation – even a tiny blade of grass- is directed from on High to grow, to develop itself and to produce,- how much more so is it necessary that a human being be guided and commanded- Get up! Grow! Accomplish! Make use of the abilities that the Creator has bestowed upon you!”