Monday, September 12, 2016

London: Last chance to hear the inspiring Karine Alharrar MK

Karine Alharrar MK, visiting London
In London this afternoon (Monday), the Malki Foundation UK's special guest, Karine Alharrar 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 Alharrar, 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 Alharrar 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 Alharrar 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 Alharrar; 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:

TRIBE
BEVERAGE
FOOD
Reuven
Schmaltz Herring
Shimon
AnCnoc 12 Years Old
Siracha Herring
Levy
Wasabi Herring
Yehuda
Chilli and Garlic Herring
Dan
BenRiach 16 Years Old
Tomato and Basil Herring
Naftali
Roasted Capsicum Herring
Gad
Glencadam 10 Years Old
Roasted Capsicum Herring
Asher
Cardhu 12 Years Old
Honey Mustard Herring
Yissachar
Mustard and Jalapeno Herring
Zevulun
Glen Grant 16 Years Old
Mayo and Dill Herring
Yosef
Aberfeldy 12 Years Old
Mediterranean Olive Herring
Binyamin
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.
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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. [Aish.com]
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 http://trybooking.com/139526

More details from oz@kerenmalki.org

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.