Muswell Hill Synagogue
Ki Tetze 13/14 September 2019 7.05pm 8.05pm

Kol Nidre Appeal 2019

This Yom Kippur we have as ever chosen three charities that support people in Israel, in the UK Jewish Community and in our local community. 


In Israel we have chosen to support Aleh, who support children with learning disabilities and their families, in the UK Jewish Community we are supporting the Maureen Kendler Educational Trust and in our local community we have selected a Haringey charity, Literacy Pirates. There is some more information about each of them here to help you see what worthwhile causes they all are. We are also giving some money to the United Synagogue Asylum Seekers Project

Maureen Kendler Educational trust 

Maureen Kendler who was a Muswell Hill Shul member, died in February 2018 after a short illness. She was an inspirational Jewish educator, writer and broadcaster who believed passionately that Jewish women’s opportunities for involvement in many aspects of Jewish life were limited by a lack of Jewish education.With a BA in English Literature, aged 40, she embarked on her own course of Jewish study: she was awarded an Ashdown Fellowship from the United Jewish Israel Appeal (UJIA) in 2002 and obtained an MA in Jewish Education in 2010. She was also awarded “Educator of the Year” from the London Jewish Cultural Centre (LJCC) in 2004.
The Maureen Kendler Educational Trust will provide bursaries to encourage Jewish women to undertake advanced studies in Judaism so that they can follow Maureen’s example and play more active roles in their communities.Throughout her life Maureen was a “Giver”. She gave of her time and energy, her love and affection, her Jewish knowledge and wisdom, her counselling and sympathy and of course her friendship. She gave to her family, her teachers, her students, her colleagues and her friends.We hope to support the Trust so that it may continue giving in her name to future generations of Jewish educators and communal leaders.
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ALEH was founded in 1982 by a group of Israeli parents determined to give their children with severe disabilities the opportunity to develop to their fullest potential. After more than three decades of successful growth and advancements, ALEH has become Israel’s foremost network of state-of-the-art residential facilities for over 750 children and young adults with severe complex disabilities.

They look for children’s abilities within their disabilities and have had many successes in improving their quality of life. Many of the children they support cannot initially walk, talk, feed themselves or even breathe on their own. The pioneering rehabilitative and special education techniques Aleh offer them and the love and warmth they receive from infancy and childhood, not only allow them to overcome some of these difficulties, but also enable them, against all odds to develop well beyond the boundaries of their initial prognoses and achieve milestones no one has ever foreseen. The children, most of whom would otherwise spend their entire lives in a hospital bed, are able to lead happy and productive lives: they attend school, participate in vocational training programs, enjoy social outdoor activities, and integrate with the wider community. ALEH is their home and their family–24 hours a day, 365 days a year. 

The money they raise from our Kol Nidre appeal will be used to buy an Eye Tracking System for ALEH’s centre in Bnei-Brak. ALEH Bnei Brak (‘Beit Yahalom’) is home to 86 residents with severe intellectual and developmental disabilities and complex medical conditions. Many of the children are multiply challenged individuals diagnosed with severe cerebral palsy and other motor and intellectual disabilities. They are unable to communicate consistently either verbally or by using physical gestures. They also have minimal opportunity to independently explore their environments, which in turn puts them at further risk for developmental delay and impedes their ability to learn about and explore the world around them. Assisted visual abilities can provide the children with an avenue for communication, development, and fun.  

The TOBII Eye Tracking is a sophisticated technological system which enables children to control the computer mouse with their eyes, where they can make selections on the screen. This ability opens a new world of communication and learning for children with severe motor/physical disabilities and no verbal skills, but with relatively higher cognitive abilities. For the first time, these children are able to express their feelings, needs and desires. This ability dramatically enhances their quality of life, as well as their self-image and positive feelings. The system also significantly benefits the children’s families, enabling them to better communicate with their children, in some cases for the first time, to be part of their world, and feel closer and more connected to them. 

Literacy Pirates

The Literacy Pirates is an educational charity whose core mission is to support disadvantaged young people aged 9 to 13 years old, living in the London boroughs of Hackney and Haringey, to develop their literacy, confidence and perseverance.

In the east of the borough of Haringey deprivation levels are especially high. They partner with local schools who identify children they feel will most benefit from their Learning Programme. 

Through offering engaging and high quality, year long, after-school programme they ensure children catch up with their peers and develop the skills necessary to achieve success at school and beyond. 

Literacy Pirates do this by giving them one-to-one support in reading and writing in an exciting, unconventional learning environment, as well as the opportunity to develop and publish three creative products, a book, a film, and an app. 

The children attend after school learning sessions for two and a half hours a week during term time. These sessions are led by a staff of qualified teachers, all of whom have extensive teaching experience in London schools and who create a ‘relentlessly positive’ environment for the children.

Expected outcomes for children are:

  1. Improved reading skills – The young people will spend more time actively reading, have access to a wide-ranging library, and subsequently read more, enjoy reading for pleasure and have improved reading skills. 
  2. Improved writing skills – The young people will develop their writing using targeted writing improvement strategies, such as continuous redrafting of work, and writing creatively. 
  3. Improved confidence – Based on interactions with volunteers, staff, their parents and teachers, the young people will feel more confident in their abilities as learners and be a more active learner in class. 
  4. Improved perseverance – The young people will understand and put into practice strategies to keep on going when its hard and requires effort. 
  5. Successful Learning Programme across two sites – Positive feedback from young people, their families and teachers, as well as improved confidence and perseverance levels, and a developed reading age.

The money we raise will support the running of The Haringey Pirates’ literacy intervention during the first full year of the Learning Programme in our Haringey Ship. Specifically, a gift to Haringey Pirates will enable them to publish the children’s work in a book. That means that 100 children will become published authors through your gift! 

Publishing the children’s work gives the children a tangible outcome to their hard work; allows them to celebrate their success with family and school teachers and is a keepsake to remind them that they are capable of creating great work.