Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Bait Shel Tikva - For mildly retarded girls

Allow us to ask your support for a unique institution in Israel: The nonprofit organization “Bait Shel Tikva”. Bait shel Tikva was established in 2007 by a private initiative for girls with developmental retardation, CP, in the ages of 15 – 20 years old, and to respond to the distress of many of their families. The idea came up because we have a paralyzed daughter ourselves of 16 years in a very difficult situation. After the publication in the press about the idea of the above-mentioned institution, many parents called us saying they were on the verge of collapsing under the heavy burden and the day-to-day difficulties. They literally told us: “We beg you to save us by establishing such an institution”. Hostels like Bait Shel Tikva don’t exist in Israel. There are only institutions for severely retarded girls from over 21 years old; and even over this age – not every time. We strongly believe that this is the wrong environment for the much younger, far less retarded girls who will, no doubt, feel isolated and sad in such a place – unable to communicate with the other girls living there. Therefore, because for us this is a case of life and death, we decided not to wait any longer and to establish the home by our own means, in a private manner.

After having consulted with numerous existing institutions in Israel dealing with retardation and rehabilitation we found out that one cannot establish such an institution with the help of the Ministry of Labor and Relief in the first stage, and one cannot expect to get any budget from a government source before several years of existence on a private status. All those institutions were run in the beginning with their own resources.

So far we were able to successfully cover the costs of the installation of the premises. Now, we’re in need of another estimated yearly $222,800 to cover the costs of the maintenance of the premises. We need your help to cover these maintenance costs. Your support will help many physically disabled girls with a slight to medium retardation find a house adjusted to their needs.

In case you would be interested in helping us in our endeavor of providing a warm home with all the up to date medical facilities and therapeutic activities to those fine girls, we would be happy to provide you with additional information about our project in the form of Bait shel Tikva’s detailed prospect, as well as a recommendation of “Gedolei Israel”.

We thank you for considering contributing to our cause. Please write your check, money order or cashier's check to

“Friends of Shaarei Torah va’Hesed”
Harei Yehudah 65/1
Ganei-Tikva 55900 Israel

We would like to remind you that your giving is tax deductible. Federal Tax I.D. number: 26-0209937/ “Friends of Shaarei Torah va’Hesed”.

For questions please contact our organization’s secretary David Blumenthal at 972 (0)50 4136140 or 972 (0)3 535 2751.

Any amount in which you wish to contribute to our organization will be acceptable.

Yours sincerely,

Rabbi Inon Levy, Chairman


  1. Mild retardation is 50–69 and they can function in society , so what is the rush to dump them into an hostel?

    I think it part of wide corruption (in mostly but not exclusively Orthodox world) when we reject the 5th commandment and sent our parents into a nursing home. We should learn from the Asian families who live with parents even after they have their own family.

    One time I had a conversation with a Filipina caretaker in Israel and she said to me "you cannot take care on your parents so you import us from across the world to do so"


    Non-Orthodox Outreach Dilutes Authentic Judaism

  3. Chumra of the month clubMarch 4, 2010 at 2:55 AM

    Who says they can just make such a takana? Besides, they used Tachash fur in the Mishkan and animals are made for us to benefit from as long as we try to minimize the pain.

    Chief Rabbis Yonah Metzger and Shlomo Amar are in favor of banning fur imports. An official opinion authored by the two on the matter will be presented at a discussion of the Knesset Education Committee Wednesday, which is preparing the bill for a Knesset vote.

    According to the opinion, Rabbi Amar says that certain rabbinical laws surrounding the Sabbath were suspended to prevent the suffering of animals, "which shows us how important it is to prevent such suffering." Rabbi Metzger writes that "it is our obligation to prevent cruelty to animals and to be a light to the nations in rejecting the use of products that were made as a result of the suffering of animals."


    Adnan Oktar, head of the Turkish Foundation to Protect National Values, an Islamic revivalist movement, has offered to arrange a meeting between Jerusalem-based Rabbi Yoel Shwartz and representatives of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

    According to Oktar, an advocate of interfaith dialogue, Ahmadinejad is opposed to Israel due to his perception of the state as a center of heresy against G-d. Were the Iranian leader to understand that the majority of Israelis are traditional, Oktar believes, then it may be possible to temper his aggressive rhetoric.

    Oktar is not a typical Muslim religious leader. Despite his reported relationship with members of the Iranian regime, he has stated publically that, according to the Quran, the entire land of Israel belongs to the Jews.

    Despite this, a publication entitled The Holocaust Lie, a revisionist history of the Holocaust, was attributed to Oktar in 1996. Oktar, whose fundamentalist views have made him unpopular with previous secular Turkish governments, has denied that he authored the book and is said to maintain good relations with Turkey’s Jewish community.

    Oktar owns several media concerns that he uses to call for a return to traditional Islamic values among his hundreds of thousands of Turkish followers. Decrying atheism as a prime cause of moral decay in the world, Oktar has expressed admiration for Rabbi Shwartz, who is active in promoting gentile adherence to the Biblical Noahide laws and has written a prayer book for Noahides which has been translated into several languages.

    According to the Bible, Noah and his sons were commanded to observe seven laws relating to morality and just governance. By Jewish tradition, these laws are incumbent upon all gentiles worldwide.

    Among the topics that Oktar wishes Rabbi Shwartz to discuss with Iranian presidential representatives is his involvement with a Jerusalem-based rabbinical court dealing with issues concerning Noahides. Oktar believes that this will have a positive effect on the way in which Ahmadinejad views Israelis.

    The rabbi has said that he is willing to travel to Turkey for a meeting with Iranian representatives if one were arranged and has reportedly turned to noted Rabbi Yosef Shlomo Elyashiv to judge the propriety of such a mission.

    Rabbi Shwartz, one of the first haredi rabbis to call for ultra-Orthodox yeshiva students to join the IDF, told the Five Towns Jewish Times that he would attempt to receive approval of Israeli government officials before engaging in any discussions with officials of the Islamic Republic.

    The Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs could not be reached for comment.


  6. It looks that the menuval and the EJF are back with full stream ahead

    "...Rabbi Leib Tropper of Monsey, New York, founder of Eternal Jewish Family, said the attacks on Klein had come from rabbis who did not reflect his organization's message. "All we want to do is improve the conversion process in Israel so that every convert will be recognized universally," said Tropper. He said his organization dealt solely with intermarried couples in which the non-Jewish partner wished to convert. Tropper said Eternal Jewish Family did not want to dismantle the Conversion Authority. "EJF is interested in creating a parallel track of conversion that will be recognized all over," he said. He said he planned to consult with conversions experts who would scrutinize all the rabbinic judges who perform conversions in Israel. EJF would only recognize those who met its standards, he said, and would blacklist the rest. "

  7. Leib Tropper is back in business -- seemingly as if nothing has happened. Has his time-out period expired?

  8. Just when I thought I was out... they pull me back in.

    Wrong call....

    No guys, the menuval is still out, this is from 2006

  9. Shame on YU President Richard Joel for giving credence to the militant anti-halacha feminists at JOFA

    And Rosenblatt tries to pass off Drisha Institute as orthodox when it's run by a bunch of Avi Weiss talmidim and even a Reconstructionist woman "rabbi"

    by Gary Rosenblatt
    Editor And Publisher

    I consider myself a feminist

    Just last week, the Council of Torah Sages of Agudath Israel issued a statement noting that having Rabba Sara Hurwitz as “a full member of the rabbinic staff” at Hebrew Institute of Riverdale “represents a radical and dangerous departure from Jewish tradition and the mesoras haTorah, and must be condemned in the strongest terms. Any congregation with a woman in a rabbinical position of any sort cannot be considered Orthodox.” (See story on page 17.)

    The move seemed calculated to pressure the Rabbinical Council of America, the largest body of Orthodox rabbis in the U.S. and affiliated with the centrist Orthodox Union, to come down hard on the notion of women rabbis.

    One might assume that despite such protests, the trend is inexorably moving toward wider acceptance of Orthodox women rabbis. Radical change always results in resistance, even if it is only temporary. For example, the majority of the more traditional world opposed the founding of the Bais Yaakov schools for girls in 1917 in Poland, since at the time teaching Torah to women was generally prohibited. But today the Bais Yaakov movement is a mainstay of the Agudath Israel and charedi communities here and around the world.

    Still, the path toward greater acceptance for women’s leadership and ritual authority is neither smooth nor assured.

    Women-only prayer services, which long preceded JOFA and have been supported by the group, may now be in decline. Ironically, a number of younger women, whose mothers helped found JOFA, have not embraced this form of tefillah. Some have opted for attendance at normative synagogues, while others, feeling increasingly empowered, choose to pray in “partnership minyanim,” a coed mechitza service where women lead parts of the davening and are called to the Torah.

    These minyanim, which began in Israel and are now in about a dozen cities in North America, would not have been possible without the all-female prayer services, which trained and gave women confidence to lead the service.

    Audrey Trachtman, a JOFA vice president who is chairing next week’s conference, said most activists see partnership minyanim — in which women share liturgical duties with men — as “the next step” in the move toward full equality for Orthodox women in terms of prayer.

    One session at next Sunday’s JOFA conference is entitled “A Foot in Both Shuls,” and explores the relationship between “the partnership movement and the rest of Orthodoxy.”

    Richard Joel, the president of Yeshiva University, will be speaking on “Jewish education for the next generation” — a less than provocative topic. But his very presence is sure to spark interest since it marks the first time a YU president is participating at a JOFA conference.

    I’d like to think that over time, more members of the Orthodox community will come to see JOFA’s mission as their own: deepening and enhancing Jewish life, individually and communally. But that depends on whether further empowering women is seen as a danger or a blessing.

    A few years ago, our family attended Yom Kippur services in Manhattan sponsored by The Drisha Institute, the adult education program for advanced Judaic study for women. The rabbi announced that some people were upset because on Rosh HaShanah he had allowed women to carry the Torah through the women’s section on its way from the ark to the reading stand.

    The only thing remarkable about the event, he said dryly, was that the women were generous and compassionate enough to return to the Torah to the men.

  10. Tropper double standardMarch 5, 2010 at 5:31 AM

    Avi Weiss gets publicly bashed but not Tropper.

    Agudath Israel spokesman Rabbi Avi Shafran said the ordination of a woman ran counter to the concept of tzniut, or modesty.

    "It includes the idea that women are demeaned, not honoured, when they are placed in the public eye," said Rabbi Shafran, "and that a position like the one suggested here is violative of that concept."

  11. To "Chief Penguin":

    First of all: You obviously haven't read my post - if you would, you'd know that we're not talking about someone's (elderly) parents, but about young girls who suffer from CP – Cerebral Palsy: A condition that causes physical disability in human development, chiefly in the various areas of body movement, and that in the case of these girls, coincides with a slight to medium form of retardation.
    Secondly: These parents aren’t just dumping their children in some home. “Bait Shel Tikva” is a HOSTEL – meaning: a daycare centre with professional staff that can offer these girls the necessary care and attention they can’t get at home. After having spent their day in the hostel they return to their families.
    Rabbi Eidensohn posted my letter not to be cynical of our organization, but on the contrary to offer us a chance to promote our institution to a larger audience and to ask for help.
    In the future – please refrain from foolish, baseless commenting!
    David Blumenthal


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