Sep 252012


This post is not about food that you and I are going to eat. Although, it is about food – and electricity, and basic things like toilet paper – for HaBayit Shel Susan, a job training center in Jerusalem that rescues kids at risk. I visited the center on the foodie tour of Jerusalem organized by Tal Marom Communications.

 The kids, ages 15-20, come off the street or were referred to the center by social workers, teachers, or other professionals.  They arrive scarred by long neglect and abuse, trusting nobody yet starving for attention. And although many deny it at first, they’re also hungry to fit into normal, working lives.


At HaBayit Shel Susan, volunteers teach the kids life skills. Who volunteers? Top artists and  business people; students, pensioners, all kinds of professionals, and just plain good-hearted folks. Avital Goel, the manager, works with a team of salaried teachers and volunteers who conduct informal therapy sessions, take the kids on trips, and teach a variety of classes to close some of the gaps in their education..

The program aims to teach the kids how to design and craft glass and paper objects, the sale of which goes to support the center. And they do produce lovely things: tableware, jewelry, and much more.

image-glass-plate-habayit-shel-susan image-hairpins-habayit-shel-susan


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Oct 072011

Caper Bushes, Kotel

The stones of the Western Wall look forbidding and dry. But deep inside their crevices, hidden moisture supports life. Is it rainwater and dew that seeped into porous rock? Or have the ancient stones absorbed all the tears men and women have shed praying here, over centuries?

As this caper bush, strongly rooted inside the dry, dusty stone, survives, flowers, and brings forth fruit in a place no one would think of sowing, so do the Jews. I wish, for all Jews in this dry time, that we be blessed yet again with flower and fruit – enlightenment and fullfillment – in this New Year and all the peaceful years to follow.

G’mar Chatima Tova.

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