December HighLIGHTS
From the Desk of Shira Reifman, CEO of Keren Or
It's hard to believe that another calendar year is coming to a close. As we bid farewell to 2021, and gird ourselves for the next wave of Corona, I can't help but take pride in our staff and students, and all that we have accomplished together over the past year. 

Despite the global pandemic, Keren Or remained in session for more than 2e0 in-person school days, and provided more than 10,000 hours of therapy to our students. With your help, we provided more than 1800 hours of hydrotherapy, and more than 69,000 hours of after-school care. During the afternoon, we provided hydrotherapy groups, as well as gardening, art, music, and pet activities for our students, while giving parents time to work or care for their other children. Thanks to you, we held zoom support groups for three different parental cohorts, coordinated dental cleanings and care for our students, purchased therapeutic equipment worth tens of thousands of dollars, and so much more. I feel humbled and blessed.

In this edition of Keren Or HighLIGHTS, you'll see how we celebrated the holiday season at Keren Or, with special Hanukkah performances and events for our students, and professional training programs (and fun!) for our staff. Although we can't cover all of the month's happenings in one newsletter, we hope you'll enjoy a taste of the wonderful things that you enable, and that you'll take this opportunity to support Keren Or one final time in 2021. I wish you only joy and blessings in 2022. Thank you for being a significant member of the Keren Or family.

With every best wish for health and happiness,
Shira 
Chanukah Vacation Camp was a Blast!
In Israel, Chanukah is the traditional winter break for schools. In order to provide our students with the structure they need to experience the holiday and provide the support our families need, Keren Or remains open throughout Chanukah.

Chanukah week was filled with specially adapted holiday activities. Our students learned about the process of making olive oil. They played dreidel with an oversized tactile
dreidel which suited their visual and motor needs. One class took a field trip to the mall to buy traditional doughnuts. Every class participated in a special program about finding the light within yourself.

The Refuah V'Simchah band came for a live Chanukah performance in the Musical Patio. Our students enjoyed dancing to the sound and vibrations of the live Chanukah tunes.

In closing we want to thank The Israel Postal Service, The Electic Company, Chabad, the Beit Shemesh Bat Mitzvah Project, and private citizens who showered our students with Chanukah presents and made it a very joyous holiday!
Staff Training at Dialogue in the Dark
Over Chanukah, we brought all of our afternoon staff to "Dialogue in the Dark" at the Holon Children's Museum. The Keren Or afternoon staff had the unique opportunity to get a first-hand glimpse of how our students experience the world. 

The unique hands-on exhibit has blind guides leading groups of ten through different rooms to experience everyday activities without the sense of sight. One room brings you into a grocery store where the participants identify assorted fruits and vegetables while avoiding any blemished produce. Another room demonstrated the power of music and vibration for those who cannot see.

Eliminating the sense of sight allowed our staff to reflect on how they use touch and sound to communicate with our students. Our staff gained perspective on what types of verbal instructions or physical aids can assist our students. 
Seeing with Our Hands
Last week our vision specialists hosted a workshop series focused on learning and refining how to use touch to help our students learn new tasks and explore their surroundings.

The school staff learned about the 'hand-under-hand' technique. When aiding our students to find an object or learn a specific task, sometimes people instinctually hold on to their wrist and hand. This form of assistance can often feel forceful and limiting for students. They cannot decide whether or not to take part, this can lead to power struggles or other forms of physical resistance. By practicing the habit of leading students with one's hand under the student's hand, the student can choose and explore more freely while still having the guidance and support of their teacher. 

At Keren Or we strive to promote our students' autonomy and self-guided decision making. We're so excitied about this new tool!
Join the Women's Division of Keren Or
for a virtual tour of
the Tel Aviv Museum Of Art
"Modern Art Collection"
Date: Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022
Time: 10:00 am EST
Zoom link will be distributed in advance
Minimum Donation: $118 per person 

Free for Leadership Circle Members for up to four events.
Please pre-register by emailing tovag@kerenor.org.il
350 7th Ave. Suite 1004
New York, NY 10001
United States
3 Abba Hillel St.
Ramot 91234
Jerusalem, Israel
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