Monday, April 9, 2018

What two guys working from a shed can do

Jennifer Shaw Racz, the Malki Foundation's development specialist here in Jerusalem, writes:

I just spent all morning watching videos and reading about Team UnLimbited, an AMAZING organization, formed by Stephen Robert Davies and Drew Murray, which makes customized arms and hands for children from a nano printer FOR FREE. Children can request all different colors and designs (even Harry Potter!) The materials themselves cost less than 30 GBP.



It all started when Steven was looking for a better prosthetic for himself and came together to Drew to design one. They produce the limbs in a backyard shed and send them out. Their design has been used to help kids around the world. 

Watch the kids' faces when they get the arm and use it for the first time. 

We salute you Team UnLimbited and invite you to Israel...  Maybe we can find some possible collaboration opportunities.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Remembering Alisa

Today, the tenth day of the Hebrew calendar month of Nisan, is the yahrzeit of Alisa Michelle Flatow z"l.

Alisa, a student at Frisch School in Paramus NJ and then at Brandeis University, was in Israel during her 1995 spring semester participating in a Jewish studies program at the Nishmat learning center in Jerusalem. She was 20, and on her way to spend a few pre-Passover beach-side days in Gush Katif.

As her father Stephen describes it, she never reached her destination:
because outside the gates of the Jewish community of Kfar Darom a van was waiting. The driver saw the approaching bus, jammed his foot on the gas pedal, rammed the side of the bus, and detonated a bomb that took eight lives and injured more than 40.
Like Malki Roth z"l, her family has built a legacy of good out of their tragedy. And like Malki, who she was as a person has impacted thousands of lives. 

Please take a moment to watch the video below and do something positive in Alisa's memory.


May her soul be bound up in the bond of life.

Friday, February 9, 2018

At Malki Foundation UK, we're looking to fill an important position


Fundraising Director 
A full-time London-based senior position

Keren Malki – The Malki Foundation is a respected Israel-based charity with offices in Jerusalem. Since 2001, it has uniquely empowered the families of children with severe disabilities from every part of Israeli society, without regard for their religious or political orientation. This empowerment enables those families to keep the children living at home with their families rather than being handed off to institutional care.

The challenges that face a family caring for a child with serious special needs are never simple. Neurological disorders, severe illnesses and childhood development problems change the lives of all parties: the child, the parents, the siblings, even the community among whom the family lives. We know these families need sustained, targeted help to deal successfully with these challenges.

At the Malki Foundation, we believe there are no better advocates and caregivers for a child than his or her parents. Global research also shows that institutional care, as important and indispensable as it can be in certain circumstances, almost always has negative effects on the child and the family. While other Western countries have long understood the detrimental effects of institutionalization, Israel has been resistant to this view and government funding for care in the home and in the community is surprisingly limited.

The Malki Foundation’s support is delivered via three quite unique programs: (1) Equipment Lending; (2) Therapies at Home; and (3) Therapists on Wheels. These allow us to make a substantial difference in how families care for their child with special needs – giving the child the best chance for happiness, better health and overall greater quality of life. 

If the Malki Foundation’s services were not available to those families, many of them would have no alternative but to succumb to institutionalization.

Malki Foundation UK is a Foundation Charitable Incorporated Organisation registered with the Charity Commission as charity number 1164793.

Candidates for this senior position are invited to direct confidential letters of enquiry with a curriculum vita to chair@kerenmalki.org Additional details of the position are available from the same address.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Recycling for the Malki Foundation

If you're in Israel, here's a fine way to recycle old or unwanted electronics and help the Malki Foundation's programs for children with disabilities at the same time.

This Friday, January 26, 2018, bring old cellphones, laptops and more to drop-off points all over Israel.

A small donation for each item you bring will then come to the Malki Foundation. Be sure to mention that's the organization you wish to benefit when dropping the items off.

There's more background here.

UPDATE: Because of the harsh weather, this is pushed off to February - exact date to be advised. Sorry and thanks.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

For caring parents, no choice but to fight the system

As this piece appeared on kerenmalki.org
While we never intentionally give away the identities of the families who benefit from the Malki Foundation programs, or of course their children, we do want to share with the public - and especially with our supporters - some of the drama, the sweet moments, the challenges and the daily realities of the lives they live.

The profile below was posted last week to the "Meet the kids" section of the Malki Foundation website

The child's real name is not Shai, and his mother is not called Chaya. That's not him in the photo. But all the facts here are true.

* * *

“It’s not enough to have a disabled child. You are left with no alternative but to fight the system.”

These are the words of Chaya, whose 12 year-old son, Shai, has Cerebral Palsy.  Shai has a specific form of CP called spastic diplopia which causes his leg muscles to stiffen and contract, and relegates him to a wheel chair, unable to walk.  Several months ago, Shai underwent expensive surgery to help release the leg muscles enough to allow him to walk on his own. The surgery went well and the doctor sent him home with instructions to undergo therapy at least 4 to 5 times a week until he is able to walk on his own.  The frequent therapy is essential to stretch and strengthen his legs.  Without it, not only will he not be able to walk but his legs will weaken even more. That means the surgery will have been for naught.

Despite letters and requests from the surgeon and the neurologist treating Shai, his health fund (Kupat Holim) granted him only a single therapy session per week. It wasn’t until Chaya complained to the Ministry of Health that Shai’s intensive therapy schedule was approved, but then only for three months. 

Once the three months ended, Chaya had to put in a new request to for medical insurance coverage and then repeat that at intervals. And then wait - and wait for the approval request to be processed and approved for another one or two months of therapy at a time.  Each such request inevitably comes with a processing delay. The result: Shai does not get the therapy he needs while they are left waiting for an answer. 

Sometimes the response from the anonymous system is that Shai “doesn’t need any more therapy”. Chaya then threatens to take the matter to the Ministry of Health and that’s when the Kupah grudgingly agrees to a month or two more of therapy. The process then repeats itself.

There’s an additional disheartening aspect to Shai’s story: as he grows older, the system gets more tight-fisted. 

Chaya recalls that when he was little, Shai received therapy in his pre-school at the rate of 4-5 times per week, without any argument.  But as he has gotten older, the faceless clerks have cut his therapy entitlement by half and then by another quarter. No doctor’s decision has been involved; it’s done entirely within the medical fund. 

Chaya feels she must fight because as Shai grows, he needs frequent therapy sessions even more than when he was younger.  How, she wonders, do they not see that helping her son become more independent means he will need less support from government funding in the future.

Determined to maximize the likelihood that Shai will eventually walk unaided, Chaya turned to the Malki Foundation. She told us how deeply worried she is that the kupah people might decide at some point to discontinue their support of the therapies that can help Shai walk on his own. 

In cases like Shai’s, the Malki Foundation pays for 85% of the cost of the therapies, a contribution that makes a real difference to their ability to arrange them and that over time can dramatically empower the family. 

Our hearts are with Shai and his family in their struggle. No one will ever be able to do for Shai what they do. We are proud to have the privilege to stand with them and watch as our support contributes to them achieving their dream.  

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

As we draw near to the Day of Atonement

2017 annual report
To read the online version of our annual report,
click on the image a few paragraphs below this photo
The High Holydays period in Jewish tradition reaches its dramatic high point on Yom Kippur, starting this Friday evening.

We're accustomed to think of it as a time for fasting. But in our people's sacred texts it's called a time to practice self-denial, something we rarely do at other times. 

Thoughtful commentators have helped us understand that we take on the not-eating, the not-drinking, the other self-imposed hardships of this very special day for practical reasons: to help us enter into a self-searching frame of mind and to achieve personal dialogue with the Master of the Universe.

Looking honestly within ourselves is never easy. It involves thinking not only about actions but about ethics and spiritual ideas: Am I living up to my own values? Am I the person I wanted to be? Is the world, is my community, is my family better because of me?

The Malki Foundation's work is intended to change people's lives for the better. With all due modesty, we feel that we do that - though not enough, of course

If you are reading this letter, you probably know already that we devote our energies and resources to providing concrete, measurable help to people who get far too little of it: families caring at home for a child with serious disabilities. No other organization in Israel does the things we do.

During these Ten Days of Penitence, when acts of charity are especially respected, please consider making a donation to the Malki Foundation.  You will be assisting families grappling with some of life's major challenges. Secure, online donations can be made by clicking here.

This is also the time of year we send out our annual print newsletter. If you have not yet received your copy, click below to read it now - online.


There's one brand-new development that does not appear there:  The Malki Foundation Australia Ltd is now endorsed as a Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) from September 1, 2017. That's great news. Details to follow.

With sincere wishes for a better new year for all, and warm thanks to all of you who have made such a positive difference by your contributions to the indispensable work of the Malki Foundation.

Gmar Hatima Tova
The Team at the Malki Foundation
Jerusalem

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Fast approaching: Our second annual Ra'anana concert

The audience loved last year's Ra'anana concert
It's that time of year again.

The Malki Foundation invites everyone to an enchanting evening of Hassidic, Israeli, jazz and popular songs benefiting our unique and life-changing programs for children with special needs.

The Ra’anana edition of our acclaimed annual Rainbow of Music concert will showcase the delightful talents of Daniel Zamir and Shlomo Katz together with the Ramatayim Men's Choir Jerusalem directed by Richard Shavei-Tzion.

Tuesday evening - September 12, 2017
The Mishkan, Municipal Arts and Music Hall, Ra'anana (north of Tel Aviv)

Order tickets at https://www.rainbowofmusic.org/tickets

This being our most important fund-raiser of the year, please consider purchasing extra raffle tickets while putting through your order.

Enjoy an entertaining night out and help contribute to a great cause at the same time. What could be better than that?