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.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Looking back at a year of achievement

Detail from Arthur Szyk's delightful "Rosh Hashana"
With the approach of Rosh Hashana, Jewish New Year, this coming weekend, we are delighted to publish here the Malki Foundation Annual Report for the period July 2015 to June 2016.

We would love to be able to say that our three programs have exploded in size to meet the steadily growing demand.

The fact is, demand is indeed steadily growing.

But until we crack that tough nut of managing to raise significantly larger sums each year, our ability to provide more therapies, more equipment, more home visits for the benefit of families caring at home for a child with serious disabilities, is limited. The gap between what we could do and what we do do remains frustratingly large.

Please take a look at what the Report shows, and if you don't mind, please show it to your friends. We're proud of what we have again achieved this year and we hope our supporters will be too. We're convinced that, as more people get to know what's being done - day after day - at the Malki Foundation, the smaller that gap is bound to get.

Monday, September 12, 2016

London: Last chance to hear the inspiring Karine Elharrar MK

Karine Elharrar MK, visiting London
In London this afternoon (Monday), the Malki Foundation UK's special guest, Karine Elharrar MK [background here] addressed a packed room of invited guests and interested members of the public in the British parliament.

The Rt. Hon. Sir Eric Pickles MP, Chairman of the Conservative Friends of Israel, engaged in a public interview with Ms Elharrar, focusing on her work as a legislator in Israel's parliament (the Knesset), as a lawyer and as a noted social activist on a series of important fronts. As a woman who has lived with the challenges of muscular dystrophy since childhood, and whose personal mobility depends on society embracing the need for accessibility, Ms Elharrar has a unique perspective which meshes well with the Malki Foundation's mission: empowering rhe families who care for a child with special needs, and in particular the mobility-challenged.

It is a huge privilege to be able to bring her to British audiences and to expose people to her inspirational message.

Ms Elharrar is going to address a second London forum on Wednesday, mainly comprising lawyers and people working in the law. All available seats for that have been taken up.

For people in and near London wanting to hear this remarkable young woman, Malki Foundation UK will hold a third forum tomorrow evening (Tuesday) at 8:15 pm in conjunction with the Mill Hill Synagogue. Places are strictly limited and, owing to security considerations, pre-registration is absolutely required. Go online to www.shul.co.uk/Karine to reserve your place. We're certain you will not be disappointed.

In the British parliament today: Speakers (left to right): MK Karine Elharrar; Malki Foundation UK chairman Geoff Hartnell; Sir Eric Pickles

Sunday, September 4, 2016

London encounters with the truly remarkable Karine Elharrar

MK Elharrar and son [Image Source]
Karine Elharrar is a young woman, a wife, a mother, a lawyer, a social activist and, since 2013, a sitting member of Israel's parliament, the Knesset, on the Yesh Atid party list.

Ms Elharrar, fluent in several languages including English and holding a graduate degree from American University's Washington College of Law in Washington DC, was the head for several years of the Clinical Education program of Bar Ilan University's respected Faculty of Law.

Today, she is regarded as one of this country's outstanding legislators on issues relating to children’s rights, equality of opportunity and the social integration of people with disabilities.

We are proud to say Ms Elharrar will be the guest of the Malki Foundation UK during the week of September 12, 2016, taking the central role in a serious of public and private events in Greater London that encompass synagogues and schools, professional firms and associations, and (yes) the British parliament.

Did we mention that this remarkable person was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy at the age of 9? And that her life, her message and her presence in London are bound to be a source of rare and substantial inspiration?

For details of the still-open events, please contact James Harari at Malki Foundation UK: phone 020-3637-4245. Or email him at james@malkifoundation.org.uk

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.