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A ‘rainbow’ of sweaters that brought joy to children’s faces

Can you imagine rows and rows of different-sized hand-knitted sweaters - looking like a rainbow – all laid out in an amazing array of colors? The Chanukah party distribution begins two weeks in advance of Chanukah. We visit 18 after-school centers – sometimes four a day.

These centers cater for children who are at high risk and are cared for by the Rishon LeZion Municipality's Welfare Department. Each center has some 15 children, all of whom are excitedly waiting for us, the joy and amazement written on their faces and in their eyes as we spread out the sweaters on the table. One by one, after being called, the children march up, try on a sweater in the color they choose, which is then refolded and put neatly in a plastic bag containing a hand-knitted scarf, goodies and, of course, a dreidel. Prior to going home the little ones enjoy the traditional doughnuts which our group provides. 

 As if it is not enough to witness the joy and happiness our sweaters have given to these little ones, we also received bonuses. One of the centers prepared a surprise for us, a beautifully decorated plaque with a lovely handwritten blessing. At another stop each child came up to thank us personally, with a number of them giving each of us a hug and a kiss – what more could one want!

We, the ESRA Rishon LeZion "Knitting Ladies", started this project five years ago when we distributed 50 sweaters. The project is coordinated by our volunteers Lorna Toube and Shirley Frenkel and is run in conjunction with the residents of the "Ad 120" retirement home with whom we have a strong collaboration.

This year 280 children have received sweaters and scarves distributed by the ladies of the committee. We are exceedingly proud of this wonderful and meaningful project which is a highlight in the calendar of the Branch.

Janet Kiesari is ESRA Rishon's chairperson and coordinator of the southern region.



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Saturday, 10 June 2023

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