Friday, October 12, 2018
For over 2 decades, Yad Eliezer's Big Brothers/Sisters have worked week-in and week-out as mentors to thousands of children throughout Israel. They not only help with school issues and homework, but are there to be a daily support, providing a listening ear to kids who need someone to talk to. They will be found hosting their "kids" in their homes on Shabbat and holidays, filling in for missing parents at various life-cycle events, arranging to get items (a pair of tefillin, a pair of new shoes) that their kids are missing. We know that our work is life changing and crucial (there is so much need!), but it is always encouraging when it is recognized by others. Israel's president, Ruvi Rivlin did just that recently, and we are honored to share his letter with you, here.
It is a privilege to congratulate you on the occasion of the 22nd anniversary of your organization's mentoring project. Yad Eliezer is one of the oldest and most well-known organizations in Israel, working for a wide range of children and youth in various situations, who find themselves in need of support and guidance.
Every person, whether young or old, needs a sympathetic ear, a warm embrace, or encouraging advice from time to time. This need is even greater when it comes to young children coping with difficulties at home, a serious illness, or the loss of a parent. Such situations, which upend their worlds, often cause the removal of significant people in the child's life, leaving him angry, sad or confused. This is exactly where your compelling work comes into play-to try and provide what is missing. To fill the void.
You, dear members of Yad Eliezer, enable a young child to ask questions that are running around in his head. You enable a little girl share her dreams and aspirations as she grows up. You give strength to an adolescent struggling to find his way in the world, needing to share the burden of adolescence with a trusted person who is interested in him and wants to hear his voice. Thanks to you, these precious children have someone older and loving to look up to, from whom they can learn and with whom they can share, and know that that special someone is there for them. Your mentors will enable these young souls to go out into the world when they day comes, realize their potential, overcome obstacles, love and succeed as they were guided by the influence of positive role models.
Your work, which is carried out on a personal level between each mentor and child, is in fact also a national mission. One that enables us as a society, to take responsibility for the younger generation, to nurture and guide it along a straight path, so that it will grow to be a significant component of our common future.
I wish you continued success in your diverse and varied work, which transforms life and touches people, both young and old. May your actions continue to spread light, kindness, and charity in our world, so that we can all reap the benefits.
With brachot and appreciation,
Reuven (Ruby) Rivlin