By Miriam Millingen
Our day started at the Raya Jaglom Daycare Centre in the heart of Tel Aviv.
There are up to 100 children here in four groups. The children come here from four months old and are from a variety of backgrounds. From families of same sex couples, French speaking parents and single parent families. At the centre they are given love and caring they may not get at home.
This is a multi-purpose Centre with extended hours from 7am -7pm.
Older children come from 1-7. They are picked up from kindergarten and at this Centre where they have good food, love , sports, and other activities in a special area of their own. The carers teach them responsibility for themselves. These kids come from dysfunctional families. 52% of these children come from single parents.
There is a social worker here every day. The staff here are so caring and full of love for the children.
Our next stop was the Rae & Tom Mandel Centre in Modi’in. This is a multi-purpose Centre with activities 6 days a week. There are 43 volunteers working here plus a secretary and housekeeper.
The second hand shop here raises up to AU$1000 a day which is transferred to World WIZO. It also provides clothes to needy. If they come with coupons from welfare they get clothes for 50% off.
Once a month they have a sale day which raises up to 6000 Shekels.
There is a Monday mothers and babies group. They come early and have a hearty breakfast and activities with their babies. Baby yoga, music, discuss women’s issues, everyday matters, sharing information.
Most importantly is they are getting to know this Centre and what is available. Some women later on become volunteers here.
Also offered at the Centre are Bible classes, and free legal aid. Cultural evenings are organised for the local community as well as Weight Watchers sessions. The centre is also rented out for events which brings a good income.
Three times a week the office serves as an Ulpan. The local women who spoke to us were passionate and inspiring and spoke so highly of the Centre.
Lunch was enjoyed by all at the Sarona Market where everyone made their own choices of where to explore and eat.
We then went to the Taglit Innovation Centre at the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. This was a mind blowing experience where we were told about some of Israel’s amazing start-up companies such as Watergen, Orcam and Pillcam. Our guide demonstrated the amazing Orcam glasses aid for the visually impaired.
Having had an hour to glam up, we were then bussed to the home of the Australian Ambassador to Israel , Chris Cannan where he hosted a cocktail party for the Australian WIZO delegation. What an inspiring young man to represent us here, and how impressed he is with WIZO’s achievements in Israel and the work we do.
During the evening, our highly respected, dear Helen Granek told us of her experience having been liberated from a camp 75 years to this day, the 16th January 1945.
This ended our WIZO Australia preconference tour.
Thank you #Paulette Cherny for organising it, thank you #Shelley Seligmann for your impeccable organisation, thank you #David Cherny for your wonderful guiding and thank you to the #WIZO Australia Chaverot for your friendship, fun and companionship.