August HighLIGHTS
From the Desk of Shira Reifman, Director of Keren Or
Summer Gala 2022 a Smashing Success!
Dear Friends,
 
The Hebrew word for “Jew,” “Yehudi,” comes from the root word “to thank.” The most fundamental Jewish value is to give thanks, and this month – as we celebrated the end of another successful school year – we had the opportunity to thank the people who make it all possible.
 
First, we thanked the school professionals and after-school staff who go above and beyond for our children every single day. Their devotion, creativity and patience is unparalleled.
 
Then, last night, under a beautiful starry sky, and a magnificent big-top tent, we had the opportunity to thank our dear friends and sponsors. Almost 200 supporters gathered at the home of Eliot and Marilyn Lauer for an inspiring celebration of Keren Or, complete with delicious food and a musical performance by the amazing Shulem Lemmer, who mesmerized the audience with his repertoire of songs in English, Hebrew and Yiddish. I was especially honored to share a presentation about the work that Keren Or does to promote communication for every child, and to screen a video about our revolutionary new “hydro-communication therapy,” a pilot program that takes advantage of the benefits of hydrotherapy by providing speech therapy in the pool.

Thank you to the incredible Lauers for their hospitality, and for their Herculean efforts on our behalf. Thank you to everyone who joined us, as well as those who support us in so many ways throughout the year. We’re still on a high from the event, and we’re so excited to take that inspiration with us as we go back to school tomorrow.
 
Wishing everyone a productive and joyful new school year.
 
With profound thanks,
Shira
Summer Camp at Keren Or
Like most children, our students love “camp!” Our 6-week day-camp takes place on the Keren Or campus, where the focus changes subtly from academics to relaxing and having fun.
 
The theme of this year's summer camp was “Jerusalem.” Each week, our students learned about a different aspect of the city, through interactive, multi-sensory activities. They experienced the smells of the Jerusalem Botanical Garden and the tastes of the Machaneh Yehuda market. Through dress-up, adapted art projects and music, they learned about landmarks such as the Knesset, the Israel Museum, the “mifletzet” monster slide, and the Music Museum. They even created a walk-through aquarium with tactile fish! Finally, they learned about the capital’s religious
significance by converting the lobby into the Old City and recreating the vessels of the ancient Holy Temple.  
 
Importantly, camp is a time for “our kids to be kids” and make special summer memories. They spent time in the pool, where the hydro-therapists continued providing their life-changing therapy all summer long. They enjoyed specially adapted arts and crafts projects. They rode horses at a therapeutic riding stable, played with therapy dogs, and spent extra time with their small animal friends such as turtles, rabbits, guinea pigs, snakes, and more.  

Our teachers and care staff are now gearing up for the new school year which starts on September 1st. We cannot wait to see our students rejuvenated, ready to learn, and eager to grow.
Keren Or Staff Appreciation and End of Year Celebrations
Thanking Our Amazing Staff!
 
As another school year came to an end, we took the opportunity to thank our incredible staff! 
 
The school staff took a day trip that began at “Khan Sha’ar Hagai,” an important historical site that commemorates the supply caravans that carried food and medicine to a besieged Jerusalem in 1948. A moving film and interactive experience gave
us a renewed appreciation for those who made it possible for us to live and work in Jerusalem. Following the tour, the staff enjoyed group bonding games, and a gourmet picnic in the Jerusalem hills.

The after-school staff also enjoyed a special appreciation event, with a beautiful dinner in a courtyard overlooking the Old City, followed by a spectacular sound and light show projected on
the ancient ruins of the “City of David.” The show told the story of Jerusalem’s destruction and rebuilding, and the Keren Or staff felt so honored to be part of the continuously unfolding story of the city.
 
Every single member of the team – teachers, classroom aides, nurses, para-medical therapists, administrative staff, managers, and cleaners – plays a critical role in helping our beloved students reach their full potential. We are so grateful for their creativity, devotion and skill.
330 West 38th Street, Suite 1007
New York, NY 10018
United States
3 Abba Hillel St.
Ramot 91234
Jerusalem, Israel
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