Can you tell us a little about Emunah and its goals?
Emunah’s aim is to create a better everyday life and future for Israel’s most vulnerable and at-risk children and families.
We do this by creating a safe and loving environment, which provides these highly vulnerable children and families with the tools to break the cycle of neglect, abuse and violence they may have experienced through no fault of their own.
Our goal is that every child Emunah helps is able to realise their full potential and become well balanced, independent contributing members of society.
How does British Emunah carry out this work?
Emunah has five residential centres, caring for children who have been taken away from their families by the courts, as well as four high schools and a college – catering for those children from predominantly low socio-economic backgrounds, some with learning difficulties and behavioural issues. These help them to succeed in full matriculation in both academic and vocational courses.
There are also 120 day care centres and 10 crisis and intervention centres. They offer therapy for mental, physical, sexual, emotional and abandonment abuse and PTSD. Our counsellors and therapists also work with adults to educate and help them become the best parents they can be.
How has lockdown and the recent conflict affected the children and families that Emunah supports?
Hugely. Our staff at the residential centres put their own lives on hold to be able to be in lockdown with the children. Extra funding was needed to purchase more PPE, activities, food and extra hours of therapy to keep these children in as much of a routine as possible.
Our Crisis and Intervention Centres saw a huge influx of patients who were suddenly experiencing trauma from a family member who, until being in lockdown, had shown no tendency to being an abuser.
Once the conflict started, even more families were contacting us as they were suffering from the trauma and aftereffects of the constant terror attacks.
Why are you running this appeal?
Our centres all need more money for extra therapists and the many hours they need to provide for 10,000 at risk and vulnerable children and families in our care to help them heal.
Our centres have a lot of footfall and the wear and tear of our centres needs upgrading as with any of our own homes. We need to continue to provide the hot meals for the children who would otherwise go hungry.
This fundraiser is in memory of Lord Rabbi Sacks z’l. Can you tell us why?
Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks z’l was a great supporter of ours and regularly supported our events and appeals.
He loved all types of music so much and the music therapy programme which he and his family set up is in his name. He visited two of our residential centres with the Shabbaton Choir several times.
We feel that part of the donations that we receive will be able to give many more children the music therapy they need to help them heal.
How can our readers find out more about British Emunah?
Please take a look at our brand new website www.emunah.org.uk or follow @BritishEmunah on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.