Tuesday, April 4, 2017

A special evening, a special singer, a special song

The 2017 edition of the Malki Foundation's annual Rainbow of Music concert in Jerusalem has come and gone - and what a fabulous success it has been!

As in past years, every seat in the Rebecca Crown Auditorium at the Jerusalem Theatre sold out ahead of the concert night - even if a few seats remained empty because kind supporters bought the reserved seat tickets even if they were unable to personally come along.

The three featured performers all came with superlative reputations and without exception did themselves and us proud. Our sincere thanks and appreciation for their wholehearted and musically-rewarding participation to guitarist-and-singer Shlomo Katz, to Cantor Tzvi Weiss and to Daniel Zamir, one of the bright stars in Israel's jazz firmament and a saxophonist of international renown.

Our friends know that the anchor talent each year for all of the Rainbow of Music events has been the versatile and rousing Ramatayim Mens Choir under the baton of Richard Shavei-Tzion whose broad-ranging talents include preparing the arrangements, finding the talent and crafting a balanced programme for the show.

The enthusiastic applause, the singing and humming along, the smiles on the faces of patrons as they left the theatre after the last encore - all testified to another job terrifically well done. The men of the choir perform as volunteers and do wonderful work for other charities as well as for the Malki Foundation. We salute their generosity of spirit and the harmony (in every sense of the word) they bring to the evening.

Now a word about one of the special stars of the night.

Entirely unannounced, Naftali Weiss, a young Jerusalem man of 24, sang Malki’s Song, otherwise known as Shir Lismoach, a song about joy. Malki Roth wrote the words and music of the song shortly before she was murdered and without ever saying anything about its existence to her family - they only learned about it after she was gone. (There's more background and detail here and here.) It has been recorded by professional artists on several continents and taught to children in youth groups in every part of Israel.

Naftali deals with the challenges of having autism. His mother relates how music and singing are a gift for him. He puts his whole self into music, is the way we heard it. For the team at the Malki Foundation, it was a special honor and source of pride for us that Naftali chose to accept the invitation to sing at our event. In Debbie Fishman's incisive words, "What a tribute to Malki who dedicated her short life to inclusion and caring for children with special needs!" (Debbie is the Malki Foundation's indefatigable executive director.)

Here's the video clip. Enjoy!

Aren't you glad you clicked?

Thursday, March 16, 2017

On Thursday March 16, 2017, your purchases at Amazon will help the Malki Foundation meaningfully!

If you were planning some online shopping this week, we have some good news.

Amazon is celebrating its #1 ranking in customer satisfaction by the American Customer Satisfaction Index!

Today, March 16, only, Amazon is going to donate 5% (that's 10 times the usual donation rate) of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to American Friends of Keren Malki.

Get started by clicking here: smile.amazon.com/ch/26-2251751

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Will you run with the Malki Foundation in next month's Jerusalem Marathon?

Israel's capital plays host to the Seventh Annual Jerusalem Marathon on Friday morning, March 17, 2017. This year, for the first time, the Malki Foundation is entering our own official Jerusalem Marathon team.

And we would love to include you! This can happen in one or both of two distinctive ways.
  • You might be willing to join our team and run. Or walk. 
  • Or you could consider sponsoring a runner or a walker who will be taking part as a member of the authorized, official inaugural Malki Foundation Jerusalem Marathon running/walking crew.
Either way, the bottom line is you become part of a wonderful effort that delivers unique support for children in Israel with severe disabilities.

Whether we're talking of the full marathon, the half marathon, the 5 km race or the 1.7 km family race (see all the details here), a fun day is guaranteed. Depending on which option you choose, the course begins at Israel's parliament, passes through Mount Scopus and the Old City, and finishes at Sacher Park. It's a spectacular route that challenges participants while exposing them to magnificent vistas and Jerusalem's unique atmosphere, culture and people.

The March date generally ensures comfortable weather, low humidity and an enthusiastic crowd of spectators.

And did we mention that you will be part of a team supporting children with severe disabilities in Israel, and their families?

Please contact us at events@kerenmalki.org for more information. Your application needs to be with us by 12 noon (Israel time) on February 20, 2017.

Monday, January 16, 2017

We're pleased to announce Ahuva is walking - and going to attend a regular school

Illustrative image via Flickr (Creative Commons)
This is not Ahuva, and Ahuva is not her name. The facts are accurate and
real. We strictly respect the privacy of all the children in all our programs
Ahuva first came to our notice when she was just four months old. Born with Down Syndrome, she was diagnosed as having significant cognitive and physical delays.

Ahuva's parents knew she needed special therapies in order to help her develop and reach her potential. But they quickly learned that the only clinic with appropriate therapists for infant care was in a distant city. The family didn’t have a car and lacked the funds that would have made getting there easy.

The result was that Ahuva was not receiving any treatments at all when her family made contact. The team at the Malki Foundation's Jerusalem office quickly arranged for Ahuva to be admitted to our Zlata Hersch Memorial Therapists on Wheels Program under which we provided 100% of the costs of a specialized therapist to come to the family's home and to work at regular intervals with Ahuva. The innovative Therapists on Wheels program has been in operation since 2011.

With the therapist’s help, Ahuva was able to walk at two years old to the delight of her parents. Ahuva's mother reports:
Thanks to the intensive work with the therapist made possible by the Malki Foundation's intervention, our Ahuva is now going to be able to be mainstreamed and attend a regular pre-school with other children. We couldn't be prouder.”  
It's a tremendous honour to be able to extend our support to families like Ahuva's. And it's a great privilege to say "thank you" to the kind supporters without whom our programs would not be able to operate.

Friday, December 23, 2016

A moment of your attention

During this season of giving, give a child the chance to reach his or her full potential. Please help us give families from every part of Israeli society the chance to care for their child with severe disabilities at home.

When you donate to Keren Malki, your money goes to pay for therapies that help children with special needs crawl, walk, talk, eat on their own, move independently around their homes and schools, and most importantly, stay at home with their families.

You can help children like Noa, Netanel, and Ahuva who have all learned to walk as a result of Keren Malki's programs (read their stories by clicking on their names).

Many of you have supported us in the past, and for that we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Because of you, this year, we have already provided more than 1,500 therapy sessions to some 95 children and loaned out more than 2,600 pieces of assistive equipment to children and families in need of them. But as word continues to spread about our services, our waiting list - an ever-present reality - continues to grow.

We currently have over 120 children on our waiting list for our Therapies at Home program alone. Our end of the year goal is to accept 12 new children into that program. To do this, we need to raise $20,000. We can only do that with the support of backers and donors, and we hope you will be among them.

What your tax deductible donation can provide:
          $36 - One hydrotherapy session to improve muscle tone
          $180 - Three speech therapy sessions to help a child with special needs start to speak
          $250 - A month of expert-supervised, in-the-home paramedical therapy sessions for a child living in one of Israel's periphery communities
          $1,000 - A walking- or standing-frame unit to add to our in-demand inventory of home equipment loaned to families of a child unable to stand alone

Please help us improve the quality of life of children with disabilities and their families by making a tax-deductible donation before the end of the year. Donations to the Malki Foundation can also make excellent holiday gifts. There are special tribute cards available on our website. And if you have any ideas to share or questions to ask, please be in touch with Debbie Fishman at the foundation's offices in Jerusalem.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

If you're in Oregon, an opportunity to learn from up close about what we do

We thought you might want to know that Arnold Roth, Malki Foundation chairman and its co-founder (with his wife Frimet) will be speaking in Portland, Oregon during the weekend after the US elections. Details are here on the Jewish Portland communal website.

We particularly want to highlight that on Sunday afternoon, November 13, 2016 at 3:00 pm, Arnold will be speaking on
Expanding Options in Home Health-care for Families with Children who are Severely Disabled 
in a presentation oriented to parents of children with special needs, to healthcare professionals, to social workers, to friends of the Malki Foundation and to anyone else able to make it who is interested to know more about the issues that the Malki Foundation was created (fifteen years ago) to address.

This event is free and open to all, as are the other parts of the weekend program on the previous Friday and Shabbat/Saturday.

For details and responses to questions and if you are in Oregon, please call 503.246.8831 or email lharrison@nevehshalom.org. Interested people outside the area can email us at office@kerenmalki.org

Arnold will be in Portland as the guest of Congregation Neveh Shalom and as First Annual Yoni Suher (z”l) Scholar in Residence, sponsored by the Stan and Ethel Katz Briller Jewish Education Fund. Yoni Suher was one of the victims of a terror attack on Israeli visitors to Istanbul [reported here] in March 2016.

Friday, October 28, 2016

When a "vociferous friend of Israel" encounters a fierce advocate for Israelis with disabilities

We could claim the recent High Holydays season is to blame for the delay. 

But whatever the excuse, we apologize for not being quicker to republish some coverage of the recent very successful speaking tour the Malki Foundation organized in the UK with the dynamic and impressive Karine Elharrar, a member of the Israeli parliament (The Knesset) at its centre. [See "London encounters with the truly remarkable Karine Elharrar", September 4, 2016; and "London: Last chance to hear the inspiring Karine Elharrar MK", September 12, 2016].

Ms Elharrar is an outstanding Israeli advocate for the cause of people with disabilities. The nature of her public interest work fits well with the advocacy and values which we at the Malki Foundation want to encourage.

Here's the text of a report published on the website of the Conservative Friends of Israel (UK), datelined September 16, 2016, under the title "CFI Chairman Sir Eric Pickles Joins Israeli MK Karine Elharrar at Malki Foundation "In Conversation" Event in Parliament":
From Ms Elharrar's Facebook page 
This week in Parliament, CFI Chairman Sir Eric Pickles joined Israeli MK Karine Elharrar at an “In Conversation” event hosted by the Malki Foundation. Sir Eric spoke with Karine about Israel’s strong ties with the UK as well as discussing the impact of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. The MP for Brentwood and Ongar told Karine that he is “proud to be a vociferous friend of Israel”, describing the country as “a bastion of democracy in a region of instability”. He underlined that anti-Semitism is often disguised as anti-Zionism, and said that while perfectly legitimate to criticise the Jewish State, it is not legitimate to deny Israel’s right to exist. Sir Eric emphasised that this desire to single out and delegitimise Israel lies behind BDS and other boycott movements. Prior to entering the Knesset in 2013 as Israel’s first disabled female MK, Karine headed the Legal Clinic at Bar-Ilan University, specialising in the rights of Holocaust survivors, people with disabilities, and pensioners. Amongst numerous political roles she chairs the Knesset State Control Committee.The Malki Foundation is the sole non-profit organisation in Israel supporting parents in order that they may keep their profoundly disabled child at home – rather than put them in a home – by funding key paramedical therapies and provide free-loan assistive equipment. The charity operates across all ethnic and religious communities.
We expect to soon have some additional media coverage of MK Elharrar's recent Malki Foundation UK speaking tour to share with our readers.