November HighLIGHTS Giving Tuesday Edition

From the Desk of Shira Reifman, CEO of Keren Or
Dear Friends,

I hope you all enjoyed Thanksgiving weekend, surrounded by friends and loved ones. This is a special time to reflect on our abundant blessings and express gratitude for all that we have. 

The Hebrew word for “Jew,” “Yehudi,” comes from the root word “to thank.” This teaches us that the entire essence of a Jew is to give thanks. We are a nation of dreamers who never give up and work hard to appreciate our blessings and give thanks, even in the face of adversity. Our children teach us these lessons every day, and I feel so privileged to be their student. 

Today, on GIVING TUESDAY, I’m especially thankful for our friends around the world who give so much to our blind children with multiple disabilities. That's why we've dedicated this issue of Keren Or HighLIGHTS to some of the special people who work so hard to grow and strengthen our Keren Or community. You'll learn about visitors to the Keren Or Center who came all the way from Australia; about six extraordinary young leaders who ran the NY City marathon in support of Keren Or; and about our devoted Women’s Division members who began a new programming year with a great visit to “Gustav Klimt: Gold in Motion.” I encourage you to get involved with these amazing initiatives or to contact us about other ways you’d like to spread your light.

Thank you for keeping Keren Or in mind and in heart today and always. We appreciate your support on this Giving Tuesday and value your friendship.

May we always have reason to count our many blessings,

Shira
First Keren Or Team in the NYC Marathon
This month, we had our first-ever team in The New York City Marathon. After months of effort in both training and fundraising for the special day, six runners ran the full marathon representing Keren Or through the streets of New York. We are honored that each of our runners chose Keren Or out of many worthy causes and helped us pilot Team Keren Or. Collectively, our team raised $40,000!

One year ago, Elliot Dekter, a young leader who was inspired by our summer gala dreamed of running the NY marathon in support of Keren Or. As the Keren Or staff applied for marathon charity status, Elliot threw a party in his Manhattan apartment, and encouraged his friends to join his efforts as runners or sponsors. Soon, word spread. One friend brought another and before we knew it, we had filled all 6 of our available marathon spots!
Building this team reminded us how Keren Or can impact so many people personally. One man's dream became a reality, and 6 runners -- from NY, NJ, Boston and California -- came together to provide funding for vital therapies for our children. Our team's dedication showed us how far our ambassadorship can grow.

In 4 months, on March 17th, we will be running as a team again in the Jerusalem Marathon, this time with options for different length runs. If you are interested in joining Team Keren Or through the streets of Jerusalem (or next year's NY team!) or sponsoring our team please reach out to avigayil@keren-or.org.
First Women's Division Museum Event of the Year
This month, the Women's Division of Keren Or held its first museum tour of the season. The participants enjoyed a unique, immersive experience inspired by Gustav Klimt's famous works at the Hall Des Lumieres' exhibit “Gustav Klimt: Gold in Motion.” Displayed in the historic Emigrant Savings Bank building, the women were treated to a multi-sensory extravaganza, complete with music, an incredible light show with 360 degree projections, and an other-worldly technological display.

The Women’s Division combines dedication to philanthropy with participation in enriching social activities. In the past, we have hosted a wide variety of events, ranging from docent-led tours at New York museums and theatre events, to fashion shows and day trips. Due to popular request, this year we have added an in-person event in Florida, and a Zoom book club discussion of Jennifer Steil's novel, Exile Music.

Keren Or is so fortunate to have a circle of such committed supporters and leaders dedicated to our children. If you are interested in joining the Women's Division or any of our upcoming events please click here.
Special Visitors at Keren Or
This week, 60 students from the Jewish day school in Perth, Australia, visited Keren Or. Keren Or and the Carmel School have maintained a special relationship through their Director of Jewish Studies, Simon Lawrence, who was a teacher at Keren Or for 10 years before moving to Australia. Simon told his students about his time at Keren Or, and movingly shared about the impact our students and staff had on his life.
The Carmel students had an opportunity to tour our facility and spend special time with the Keren Or children. The students chose from different activities including playing music or making an art project with our students.

Reflecting on their visit one of the Carmel students said that during the music group he was "quickly able to see the children just as children enjoying the simple pleasure of music."

We are honored to be included in the Carmel School's annual trip to Israel and are so grateful to know that -- all the way to Australia -- there are so many people thinking about the children of Keren Or!
Join Us at the Jewish Museum for the Next
Women's Division Event
"New York: 1962-1964"
Thursday, December 15th at 11 am
Click here to register and learn more about the exhibit!
330 West 38th Street
Suite 1007
New York, NY 10018
3 Abba Hillel St.
Ramot 91234
Jerusalem, Israel
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