Friday, August 12, 2016

How hard memories are turned into constructive deeds

At last year's Ramot bazaar
This past week included the fifteenth anniversary of the date of the murderous Hamas attack on the Jerusalem Sbarro pizzeria which took the lives of fifteen innocent people. One of them was that of Malki Roth, in memory of whose life the Malki Foundation does its work.

It's hardly a secret that what we do with tragedy, with failure and set-back is an indicator of where our lives are heading. That's as true of individuals as it is of societies. (There's a startling example of how that works in a major essay in last week's edition of the influential British news weekly, The Economist: "Arab youth: Look forward in anger".)

As we wrote here a year ago ["Giving as remembering: Lessons from teenagers'] the graduating group at the youth organization, EZRA, where Malki was a young leader organizes an annual fun fair and bazaar for the general public, and especially - of course - for children of all ages. Now about to be held for the fourteenth consecutive year, it runs from mid afternoon until late at night in a small and pleasant public park just near where Malki lived, and where her family still lives, on Jerusalem’s north side. That Jerusalem park happens to abut the building that serves as the local clubhouse for EZRA. A second version takes place in Maale Adumim, a desert community on Jerusalem's eastern margin where Malki served as a group leader in the last year of her short life.

Here's how, a year ago, we described what happened:
On that fateful night of August 9, 2001, in the hours after the massive explosion in the center of Jerusalem, the same building was filled with hundreds of youngsters from the community. They had spontaneously arranged a prayer vigil while a search went on for the two girls - for Malki and for her friend Michal Raziel. The girls had been spending a summer vacation day together right up until contact with them was lost when the bomb went off. Almost all the youngsters in that crowd knew one or both of the girls personally. 
By the mid-afternoon hours of that hot Thursday in August 2001, the families of the two girls knew that Malki and Michal had been inside the Sbarro pizzeria when the terrorists attacked at two o'clock. In the chaos, what had happened to them was not immediately known and remained a mystery for some time. Michal's death became public knowledge by early evening. For the Roths, it was not until 2 o'clock the following morning before they learned the fate of their daughter and sister. 
In the very same spot, that same park, on a warm September 2001 night exactly a month after the Sbarro massacre, a public memorial event was arranged by the community. This was an azkara (a memorial event) to allow friends, neighbours, families in the surrounding community to come together and express their grief, collectively and privately, at the loss of two such beautiful, innocent, good lives. 
The agony of that evening remains etched in many memories because of what else had been happening during the afternoon and evening leading up to it. This was the night of September 11, 2001. Today we call it 9/11.
The evening concert at the 2015 Ramot charity bazaar
The EZRA bazaars and fun days [photos of the 2004 and 2007 bazaars] are busy, well-run events organized by youngsters of 16 or 17 with the proceeds going to charity:
  • In Jerusalem, on Monday August 15, 2016 at the Ramot EZRA branch and the adjoining amphitheatre and community park located at the corner of Harry Truman and Abba Hillel Silver Streets. Egged bus routes 31, 37 and 71 stop nearby. The fun begins at 4:00 pm, and goes on until 10:00 pm. Along the way there are performances by Yudele Moodele at 5:30 pm, Ilai Avidani at 7:00 pm and Uri Shaviv and his band at 8:30 pm. Further details at 052-665-5761.
  • In Maale Adumim on Sunday August 28, 2016 starting at 4:30 pm. Further details here.
Why do Israeli children who have lost parents, siblings, friends to acts of overt hatred, respond by doing acts of charity and declarations of brotherly and sisterly love? Arnold Roth, Malki's father and honorary chair of the Malki Foundation, offered an opinion in a 2014 essay ["5-Aug-14: Summer time and the livin' is not so easy"].

Frimet Roth, Malki's mother, shared some of her feelings this past week in a widely-read essay at her personal blog: "Fifteen years on, there's no relief from the grief".

There are no more lost tribes...

Also sincere thanks to the many
commercial sponsors whose
advertisements appear in this year's
Twelve Tribes event guide 
Courtesy of the organizers (hat tip: RG), here's a brief appreciation of the very successful fund-raising event arranged for the benefit of the Malki Foundation - as well as its supporters - in Melbourne, Australia two weeks ago.
The Australian Friends of Keren Malki held their second annual Twelve Tribes Kiddush on Shabbat Parshat Pinchas in the Caulfield Synagogue Hall.

What’s so special about a Kiddush? Here’s the schtick… there were 12 sponsored tables, named after the 12 Tribes, each with a different classy scotch whisky and a different flavoured herring! 

The hall was packed with more than 250 feinschmeckers from all segments of the Jewish community and numerous shules… Chareidi, Chasidish, Chabad, Modern Orthodox, Zionist, secular… men and women (there were even two separate tables for children… no alcohol)… 

Without any doubt, all Twelve Tribes were there!  

The overwhelming vibe was how united the crowd was in support of the fantastic work being done by Keren Malki.

People were free to walk around from table to table, the only seating was around the perimeter, in case someone had one too many!

Okay, so here goes:

Schmaltz Herring
AnCnoc 12 Years Old
Siracha Herring
Wasabi Herring
Chilli and Garlic Herring
BenRiach 16 Years Old
Tomato and Basil Herring
Roasted Capsicum Herring
Glencadam 10 Years Old
Roasted Capsicum Herring
Cardhu 12 Years Old
Honey Mustard Herring
Mustard and Jalapeno Herring
Glen Grant 16 Years Old
Mayo and Dill Herring
Aberfeldy 12 Years Old
Mediterranean Olive Herring
Tomintoul 10 Years Old
Morrocan Herring

Through the generosity of sponsors, supporters and participants, the event raised valuable funds to support the work of Keren Malki.

And from Jerusalem, we add this:

Special appreciation to Ron and Sarah Tatarka of Scott Winton Insurance Brokers, this year's Twelve Tribes Patrons. Deep thanks for a great deal of creative thinking and hard work to some of the hard-working volunteers behind the scenes (alphabetically): Leon Burman, Chaim GelberHelen GelberRalph Greenberger and Jacob Weinmann. Special thanks for the valuable assistance of Doodie Bankier who produced the advertising booklet for the event, enabling us to express gratitude to the sponsors and supporters. And job well done to all who took part.

Next year's Melbourne Twelve Tribe plans are already being drawn up.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Fifteen years

Frimet Roth shares some personal thoughts at her blog on the anniversary of the day her daughter Malki was murdered: Fifteen years on, there's no relief from the griefPlease read and share.

The annual Aliyah Lakever (going up to the gravesides) and Azkara (memorial service) in memory of the lives of Malka Chana Roth and her friend Michal Raziel, may their memories be a blessing, will take place at the Har Tamir cemetery in Jerusalem on Wednesday evening, August 24, 2016 (Chaf Av, according to the Hebrew calendar) at 17:30

The girls, aged 15 and 16, were the closest of friends and neighbours in life. Buried forever side by side, they were victims of a horrifyingly calculated Hamas attack on a Jerusalem restaurant that sought, and succeeded, to murder as many Jewish children as possible according to the engineer of the massacre.

As in previous years, free bus transport will be available to and from the ceremony via a chartered bus that will leave the Ramot neighborhood in Jerusalem half an hour before the ceremony, returning afterwards to the same place. For driving and bus directions and for details, please email us and we will be happy to provide some notes. 

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Coming together in Melbourne again: The Twelve Tribes Kiddush

A year ago in Melbourne, the Malki Foundation's local supporters - Australian Friends of Keren Malki - inaugurated an event called Twelve Tribes Kiddush. We foreshadowed it in this post: "Not already planning to be in Melbourne next month? Perhaps you should".

The response was terrific both before and after the event. So naturally, a 2016 version is now about to happen. All the details are in the poster below. (Click it to enlarge.)
Click for PDF version
The serious idea behind the enjoyment of the Twelve Tribes event is the well-established Jewish tradition of having a Kiddush in synagogue at the conclusion of Sabbath morning prayers as a public expression of what Jews down through the ages have done in their homes on Saturdays - sanctify the Sabbath day.
This special day is our sign. We are advertising that G-d created the world, and just as He stopped creating for one day, we stop creating for one day. To be like G-d, to emulate the Alm-ghty, is to come close to His essence and to experience the ultimate in transcendence. That is the sign between us and G-d. []
If Melbourne is where you are going to be on July 30, we hope you will show your support for all that this Twelve Tribes event stands for. Bookings need to be made and paid in advance by going to

More details from

Sunday, June 5, 2016

The Great Jerusalem Charity Bike Ride 2016: Mission accomplished

Ralph Greenberger of the Australian Friends of Keren Malki greets
Rabbi Goodhardt as he completes his 49 kilometer ride today in Melbourne
Though the temperatures have been in the sweltering zone here in Israel on Jerusalem Day today, Yom Yerushalayim, it has been considerably cooler Down Under in Melbourne, Australia. 

As we mentioned last week ["Cycling for Jerusalem - and for Israel's children with special needs"], that's where Rabbi Ian Goodhardt of Melbourne's Blake Street Hebrew Congregation  honoured the 49th Yom Yerushalayim today by getting on his bike and riding exactly 49 kilometers through the streets, roads, parks and highways of Melbourne as his way of marking the 49 years of Jerusalem's reunification. 

Rabbi Goodhardt's effort had another elevated purpose: to encourage practical support for the work of the Malki Fundation. 

He set up a MyCause secure page for "The Great Jerusalem Charity Bike Ride" and set himself the target of reaching $10,000 for the benefit of families of children in Israel challenged by serious disabilities. All proceeds go to Australian Friends of Keren Malki, an all-volunteer body that has been a leading provider of support for the Malki Foundation since it was established in December 2001. 

The specific goal is to enable us to purchase three new specialised walking frames for the Malki Foundation Equipment Lending Unit.

And the good news is - even though the ride has been done, and with success despite the tough conditions, it's not too late to associate yourself with Rabbi Goodhardt's fine effort and show support in a tangible way. Just go to his MyCause page - or click here to go directly to the secure Donate page

Rabbi Goodhardt today wrote this at the conclusion of his ride:
Think about this... 
Thank G-d, the bike ride is over for another year.  It was pretty wet and cold again, and as I was riding through the rain, one thought stayed in my mind.  How many of the people Keren Malki helps would love to ride a bike through the rain? On this day when we recall the open miracles that were seen by whole world, I found myself thanking G-d for every one of the 49,000 wet metres I was able to embark on this ride.   
And then I thought: All I am doing is using a piece of equipment - a frame, some levers, a couple of wheels - to achieve a goal I have set for myself.  This is exactly what Keren Malki helps people do: with a piece of equipment - a frame, some levers, perhaps a couple of wheels - they achieve a goal they have set themselves.  And believe me, the goals they set themselves are immeasurably more challenging and momentous than anything I would attempt. 
So if Hashem has blessed you in such a way that you have been able to read and understand this message, if you have been further blessed with the ability to work and earn some money, please click to spread that blessing to others who have different blessings.

And thank you very much.
In a Facebook post earlier today, Debbie Fishman, executive director of the Malki Foundation, wrote this from Jerusalem: 
On behalf of all the children who will benefit from the new equipment, thank you Rabbi Goodhardt for this incredible effort. 

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Cycling for Jerusalem - and for Israel's children with special needs

The Goodhardts
Jerusalem Day – in Hebrew, Yom Yerushalayim, יום ירושלים‎‎ - marks the anniversary each year of the day in 1967 when Jerusalem was reunited under Israeli sovereignty following a tragic period of nineteen years starting in 1948 during which the military forces of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan had occupied its eastern half, destroying ancient structures, synagogues and cemeteries.

For almost a generation, the Jordanians made it impossible for Jews to enter the city that has been at the heart and focus of Jewish religious, philosophical and national attention for more than two thousand years.

The 49th Yom Yerushalayim is going to be observed this coming Sunday, June 5, 2016. It's a day of national and religious celebration.

Rabbi Ian Goodhardt, the congenial spiritual leader of Melbourne's Blake Street Hebrew Congregation, has announced he is going to get on his bike and ride exactly 49 kilometers to celebrate 49 years of Jerusalem's reunification - while turning this into a way to encourage practical support for the work of the Malki Fundation among families of children in Israel challenged by serious disabilities. (To be clear, Rabbi Goodhardt's Jerusalem Day ride is taking place in Melbourne, where he did the same last year and with great success.)

As a mail-out to supporters from the Malki Foundation office in Jerusalem explained earlier today:
This is not the first time Rabbi Goodhardt has put his legs and bike to work for Keren Malki. Thanks to his efforts and his many supporters, we were able to provide a years worth of paramedical therapies to 5 children, who would otherwise not have received the essential therapy. Rabbi Goodhardt's target for this year's ride is $10,000 in order to purchase three new Rifton Gait Trainers (a specialised walking frame - see "Mobility is for everyone"). These will be added to the Malki Foundation's Equipment Lending Unit, a successful joint venture with the Yad Sarah Organization that has been lending essential home-care equipment to Israeli families since 2003.
From the Rifton website
There's a fairly constant back-log in our Equipment Lending Unit - a sure indication that families who make the difficult decision to keep their child with special needs at home are unable to solve the problem of expensive equipment on their own. It's our pleasure and privilege to help. And as with all the activities at the Malki Foundation, you can be sure the cost structure is modest and the work is done with maximum efficiency.

Running successful programs like this one of course requires the help of supporters. We therefore want to encourage our friends and supporters to get right behind Rabbi Goodhardt and provide tangible encouragement for his very welcome initiative.

To do that, please click here to go to The Great Jerusalem Charity Bike Ride secure page. There you will find all the necessary details explaining how to get behind his fantastic effort - and how to join his team of cyclists, if that's potentially on your agenda. (Short answer: click here.) All proceeds go to Australian Friends of Keren Malki, an all-volunteer body that has been a leading provider of support for the Malki Foundation since it was established in December 2001.

For Twitter users, please click here to help us encourage friends and contacts to get behind Rabbi Goodhardt's Great Jerusalem Charity Bike Ride. Facebook users can share and post from this link.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Malki Foundation UK conducts search for “community’s gems”

From the UK Jewish News
From the current edition of Jewish Newsthe UK weekly newspaper:
Awards launched in memory of teenage terror victim  
The Malki Foundation Awards is named after 15-year-old Malki Roth, killed in the Sbarro Jerusalem bombing in 2001 | May 19, 2016, 4:19 pm     
A charity set up in honour of a Jewish girl killed in a terrorist attack in Israel and inspired by her profoundly disabled younger sister has launched a series of children’s awards recognising acts of kindness, courage and achievement.The Malki Foundation, named after 15-year-old Malki Roth, who was killed in the Sbarro Jerusalem bombing in August 2001, made the announcement this week, to mark the charity’s 15-year anniversary. 
Organisers say Malki was a promising young musician and “dedicated to bringing happiness and practical support to children with special-needs,” including her severely disabled younger sister Chaya, now 21, who was the inspiration for setting up the charity in the first place. 
“The Malki Foundation Awards will find, honour and celebrate those young people in the UK Jewish community who emulate what Malki stood for, doing something extra in their lives to support and encourage others, to make the world a better place,” said a spokesman.
Click here to go to the Malki
Foundation Awards 2016 site
In its search for “the community’s gems,” the Foundation will look for children who have made a difference to the their community, in different categories such as chesed (recognition of outstanding acts of kindness), courage and achievement, whereby children aged between 10 and 18 years have succeeded “against the odds”. 
Additionally, there is a self-entered category of original song, music or poetry, composed by the entrant and submitted digitally via video, photo and/or social media.
The awards are media sponsored by Jewish News
We expect to have more coverage of this very welcome initiative taken by our British friends. Meanwhile, there is much more to see - along with the entry forms and details of the awards themselves - on the new Malki Foundation Awards 2016 website.