The Friendship Circle of Chabad Talbiya, Jerusalem held a Grand Purim Experience for children with special needs and their families filling a vacuum of social activities specifically geared to them.
FC of Chabad Talbiya, Jerusalem, founded in 2010, has been instrumental in organizing ‘Friends at Home Visits’ to children throughout the city of Jerusalem, where many live without external support. Teenage volunteers from high schools of all orientations, travel all over Jerusalem including its peripheral areas to bring warmth and camaraderie to the children and a weekly hour or two of respite to their parents.
“In central Jerusalem in particular,” commented Chana Canterman, co-director of FC Talbiya, “there is a great need for such a network as many families of children with special needs make Aliyah to Jerusalem and, not yet having a command of the Hebrew language, are unable to read about and access the services that are available to them. Our task in addition to friendship, facilitation and community building, is to let them know what’s out there to make their lives easier.”
To celebrate Purim, the children were treated to pizza, Falafels, frozen yogurt, Hamantashen baking, a hilarious puppet show created by Beis Chana volunteers and the “Shalom Show”. Each child received a package to decorate and fill with goodies, that they gave to each other, thus fulfilling the mitza of Mishloach manot.
One father, full of emotion, said “Maagal Yedidut – Friendship Circle is pure Ahavat Chinam – ‘baseless love’ for another.”
Children and parents lingered on after the event, not wishing to leave, until the following announcement was made: “The next party will be a Matza bake and Ten Vekach Auction to be held just a few days before Pesach,” leaving participants excited for what’s to come.