On December 4, 2002, the sixth night of Chanukah, the lives of the children at the SLH were made brighter when an evening was arranged by Ellen Goldstein and Joann Gold. Gathered in the beautiful home of Freema and Joe Trager, guests heard the award winning filmmaker Simcha Jacobovici share stories about his success in the film industry and the importance of rescuing Jews worldwide, whether from Ethiopia or the children and mothers at the Shabtai Levi Home.
That evening, Bible studies teacher, Channa Sargon introduced her good friend Nitza Bendor, Director of the Shabtai Levi Home. Channa then shared, with her students and friends, stories of the wonderful work Nitza and her team were providing for the many physically and emotionally abused children in their care, resulting in the launch of the Canadian Friends of the Shabtai Levi Home (CFSLH). Nitza briefed the attendees on the many successes they have had but also her frustration on how much more could be done, if only they had the funds to expand on their dreams.
As a result, CFSLH committed themselves to raising funds to hire more staff at the home and take on the major project of a new rehabilitation centre for mothers and their children-the Mother/Child Unit, the first of its kind in Israel.
The Mother/Child Unit currently receives several referrals weekly from the Israeli Welfare and Juvenile Courts. In separate units, young mothers live with their child(ren) and progress through this supportive setting towards living as independent families. This unit accommodates mothers and their children who can live-in and be taught how to care for their infant, as they are supervised and evaluated. For their babies, it is truly a second chance at life. For Haifa’s community and Israel, the social and economic impact of the Shabtai Levi Home has been tremendous.
On Sunday, April 3, 2005, Debra Alexander and Ellen Goldstein, invited a larger group of 75 supporters to an event appropriately named “Sumptuous Sunday”, as all those in attendance enjoyed an elegant lunch, hosted by the generous Bregman Family, and a rare opportunity to view Joseph Tanenbaum’s private art collection. Mr. Tanenbaum graciously welcomed our supporters to his private art gallery to view his personal, world-renowned African and Naivee art collection while providing all attendees with his historic, fascinating and charming commentary as he shared his love, interest and knowledge of his collection with the guests. Over lunch, beautifully presented by the Bregman family in their home, Ya’acov Brosh, the Consulate General of Israel, and Nitza Bendor thanked the supporters and shared information about the home and the need for new initiatives to further enhance the success of rehabilitating not only the children but their mothers as well.