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Shalva wall

The most memorable time we spent in Jerusalem on this trip was our visit to Shalva.  Shalva serves thousands of people with disabilities empowering their families with an  
all-encompassing range of services from the ages of infancy to adulthood. Shalva gives equal access and opportunity to all participants regardless of religion, ethnic background, or financial capability. What began as an afternoon program for eight children in a local apartment, has grown into a national center serving an entire spectrum of Israeli society.
Due to the personal need, generosity and vision of the Malki and Kalman Samuels family, the Shalva facility is now a new, state-of-the-art building.. In addition to a professional staff, Shalva is staffed by trained volunteers, mostly teens and young adults from Yeshivas, schools and seminaries throughout the area. Visiting Shalva was a life changing experience for us. Although we saw young people with heartwrenching disabilities affecting motor skills, speech, vision and brain function, we left with joy knowing that these children have a happy place to spend time and reach their best selves.  Shalva also gives their families a break. We encourage our readers to learn about Shalva by visiting the website shalva.org, and perhaps consider a visit or a donation when in Israel. By the way, Shalva has a unique cafe which is open to the public.

Our granddaughter Shira Kalnitz, who is currently attending MMY seminary in Jerusalem, is one of  Shalva's weekly volunteers, and she will be running with Team Shalva in the Jerusalem Marathon on March 15. If you would like to support the team (all of the donations go to Shalva), please use this link: http://www.run4shalva.org/my/shirakalnitz

Shira and Shalva child 2

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Met Council Kosher Food Network

Met Council is one of New York's largest human service agencies, helping 100,000 New Yorkers fight poverty each year. Their kosher food program provides emergency, as well as continuous food assistance to individuals and families in need. The program includes monthly food packages, special packages for holidays, on-site food pantries, and food vouchers. Visit MetCouncil.org for more information.

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MAY 2010 is Jewish American Heritage Month

Celebrate the contributions of Jewish Americans who have helped weave the fabric of American history, culture and society. Jewish American Heritage Month is a national month of recognition of the more than 350-year history of American Jews in the fields of sports, arts, entertainment, medicine, business, science, government, and military service. For more information, visit JewishAmericanHeritageMonth.US. Jewish American Heritage Month is sponsored by the Institute for Museum and Library Services and The Manischewitz Company.

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Emergency Haitian Earthquake Relief Funds

If you would like to help those in need, the following organizations are accepting online donations.

American Jewish World Service Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund
The Orthodox Union (OU).  Contributions made to the OU will be directly forwarded to the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC).

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Fans for Cans Program by Manischewitz

Nominate a food bank to receive 500 cans of natural chicken and beef broth. For every 500 Facebook fans, the company will donate 500 cans of a variety of the new Manischewitz all-natural chicken, reduced sodium chicken or beef broth.

For details, go to Man-O-Manischewitz page on Facebook.

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