The Emunah Bet Sabah Elazraki Children’s Home is home to 200 children at risk, aged 6-18, referred by the Ministry of Welfare.
The Home in Netanya is one of five Emunah children and youth villages nationwide. It is in this Home where one can find MTC, Midreshet Torat Chessed. The Midrasha was founded in 2012, attended by girls from around the world, and it will be opening its 11th year next year.
The Midrasha offers a life-changing experience, combining Torah studies with meaningful chessed (acts of lovingkindness). Every year, the Midrasha welcomes 35 girls from around the world – USA, Canada, England, Brazil, and Australia – who become the children’s older sisters.
Shortly before boarding a plane back to their families – the Children’s Home saluted them with a special year-end event.
How does it work?
The girls attend Torah studies every day between 8:30a.m.-1:00p.m. After their studies and well into the evening, they work at the Children’s Home and are fully engaged with doing chessed. The girls are an integral part of the educational team that accompanies the children, and act as positive role models.
Pessie Blatt, one of the girls, explained: “The entire environment of MTC is life-changing to say the least. Each individual class teaches so much about to grow as a Jew and into the best us that we can be. I don't think I have ever had so much inspiration in such a short span of time and I could not be more grateful for having been given this opportunity."
The girls’ contribution to the Children’s Home is very significant for the kids. They mentor them, develop deep ties with them, accompany them throughout their daily routine and, thanks to them, many of the children already speak fluent English. Through the work with the children, the girls undergo an amazing and unique experience of helping others, as they are directly involved in changing lives and promoting the love of humanity.
MTC is one of the leading institutions in its field, recognized by several universities, among them, Yeshiva University and Touro College. Every student who returns to study in the U.S. is awarded a year of credit. The uniqueness of the Midrasha is that the girls transform Torah into action, allowing for the Torah to be internalized. The term Torat Chessed exemplifies the nature of the Midrasha students’ activities.
The Midrasha Director, Shira Melamed, also has a special bond with Israel, which began back in Manhattan: “I sat in the synagogue 23 years ago, a 10th grade student. We were reading the Book of Numbers. Reuben, Gad and the half-tribe of Menasheh do not wish to enter the Land of Israel to fight. They do not want to leave behind their convenient lives, they do not want to make aliya (immigrate to Israel). Moses clearly reprimands them: ‘Will your brothers go to war while you stay here?!’ There is no other home in the world and if I am not part of it, if I don’t sense the great responsibility of protecting my home, who knows if my children will still have a home? I made aliya when I was 18 and have not stopped falling in love with this land ever since. Not a day goes by where I don’t thank Hashem for the privilege of being able to live as a free people in our country.”
Sarah Winter, one of the students, said: “As the teachers at MTC say, we learn Torah in the morning and live Torah in the afternoon. I truly feel this every day. When I leave my classes in end of the morning I feel accomplished, and when I leave the children in the end of the afternoon my whole day comes together.”
“The teachers direct their words to you,” said Tali Katz. “I now have a completely different perspective on Judaism. It changed my life. It transformed my vision about my future, how I want to raise my family.”
Yehuda Kohn, Director of the Emunah Bet Sabah Elazraki Children’s Home, said: “The girls’ added value changes the nature of our home, transforming it from a children’s home to a campus of goodness and chessed.”
“I am constantly amazed by the joy that Torah and chessed brings them,” concludes Midrasha Director Shira Melamed. “A person who is engaged is a happy person. A person who is engaged recognizes that he is part of something wonderful, which is accompanied by a beautiful sense of fulfillment and purpose. May we always take joy in the knowledge that we are brothers and may we always understand that it is the greatest responsibility and privilege one could ask for.”