by Judi Tennebaum
Be prepared: members of the Hesed Committee will be collecting the contents of your pushkes (and any additional donations) during Purim, both at the Purim Carnival and during the Megillah readings.
This year the beneficiary of the Pushke Project will be Limudiah, an intensive after-school educational program organized by the North American Conference On Ethiopian Jewry (NACOEJ) which provides needed assistance for Ethiopian students in grades one through six in Israel.
This program is successful: over 80% of the Ethiopian children in the program perform at grade level, compared with only about 50% of Ethiopian children not at Limudiah. These children excel in part because of the small teacher-to-student ratio giving the students much-needed individualized attention.
This program is set to be expanded quite quickly. The need for additional funds is critical. The Israeli government has mandated that all Limudiah programs in the schools must be opened to a substantial number of non-Ethiopian children. In addition, some of the remaining thousands of Jews still in Ethiopia will arrive in Israel soon. In order to succeed with all of these new students, Limudiah must retain its high standards: top teachers, small classes (no more than eight), nutritious hot meals and special materials for those who need them.
Israeli Board Members and staff believe that integration will be good for their Ethiopian pupils. They believe that the children will benefit socially and emotionally be being part of a group that represents all Israel. They hope that the children will form solid friendships at the same time that the program continues to meet the special needs of the Ethiopian children for whom it was created.
We all look forward to the Purim celebration and the opportunity to raise funds for this wonderful project. For more information contact Hesed@adath.net .
Adath clergy, staff and congregants share