After many weeks of lockdown here in Israel, I finally was able to visit the girls at the orphanage. I missed them so much. It was wonderful seeing them in person and catching up with them and hearing about everything that has been going on in their lives.
First, some big news: Yaeli is engaged! She’s getting married on May 29th. When I spoke to her yesterday, I wished her Mazel Tov from the entire Lev LaLev Family—including all of you. She is one radiant bride, if I may say!
Last week, we had an amazing Tu B’Shvat party. Tu B’Shvat is the new year for trees, when the first trees of the season begin to bear fruit. Although now it is still winter and the trees look dead and bare, Tu B’Shvat reminds us that there is growth beneath the surface. As the Jewish saying goes, “Man is compared to a tree.” Our girls, like the fruit of a tree, are little buds waiting to blossom. Although at times the future may look bleak, each girl at Lev LaLev—and each one of us—has an inner potential waiting to burst forth.
Now for the big question: How are our dear girls managing under the strict lockdown restrictions?
When Israel began its fourth COVID lockdown two weeks ago and our girls realized that they would be stuck at the home all day with nothing to do (again), the atmosphere was tense.
Then, Bracha tested positive for Covid. Bracha is not simply the director of the orphanage. She is everything to the girls: a surrogate mother, personal coach, problem solver… We didn’t know how we would manage without her. Yet our incredible staff managed to pull through once again. Two staff members moved into the home to replace Bracha for the duration of her quarantine. Thank G-d, she is feeling so much better, and is working hard to keep the girls entertained.
In the mornings, the girls have classes via zoom and conference calls. We also have teachers that give special lectures for the girls. The Educational Director mentioned to me that many of the girls are struggling in school, and she is working with our staff members to keep the girls up-to-date with their school work.
On Sunday, the girls were treated to a beautiful singing program with live music and a video presentation. The Director explained how important it is to be happy and to sing with simcha, joy. She explained that singing comes from the heart, and “mah sheyotzei min halev, nichnas Lalev.” “What comes from the heart, enters the heart.” It was a wonderful evening. How I wish you all could have been there to see the smiles on their faces!
It is a challenging time for everyone, but especially for our girls, who don’t have parents and family caring for them. We do our best to make the most of lockdown, but we need your help to continue giving them everything they need to feel hopeful and happy in these difficult times.
Please visit support.levlalev.com/covid to sponsor an activity.
On behalf of all the girls, thank you for showing your love from afar and always being there for them.