Love in Action
Neve Michael Children’s Village
Loving God’s Kids
Why Neve Michael?
Not all missions are birthed out of Beth Yeshua International (BYI), but God calls us to come alongside our brothers and sisters to support in any way that we can. Such is the case with the very special place that is Neve Michael Children’s Village.
Neve Michael’s mission is to provide each child with the love, care and professional treatment to overcome the abuse they have endured and to offer them a chance at a better future, they so deserve.
Where is Neve Michael Children's Village?
Established in 1943 and located in Pardes Hanna, Israel, Neve Michael Children’s Village is a 7-acre campus which is a safe haven for children 5 to 18 years of age who have been removed from their homes by Israel’s Welfare Department due to extreme traumatic circumstances such as family dysfunction or neglect, violence in the home or mental, physical and/or sexual abuse.
It is the only multi-disciplinary children’s home in Israel to offer a wide range of professional services on one site, such as psychiatry, psychology, occupational therapy, social work, conventional and para-medical therapies and education.
The Neve Michael Campus & Crisis Centers
Aside from providing a home with clean beds, love and care, The Neve Michael Children’s Village is also home to many
- Family homes which provide a sense of normalcy
- The Children’s Emergency Crisis Center is able to provide immediate refuge for a child at risk.
- The first ever Teenage Girls Crisis Center in Israel, also provides a safe place for young women at risk.
- An Elementary School on the premises
- A Therapy Enrichment Center tailored to meet the individual needs of the children
- An External Crisis Center
- Therapy Counseling Unit which helps keep families at risk in tact
- Day Care facility that also serves disadvantaged children in the area.
The Campus is a safe haven for so many children who cross the threshold and who have gone on to succeed in life. The Therapy Enrichment Center provides tailored programs to meet the individual needs of the children.
The Children’s Emergency Crisis Center
The doors to the 24-Hour Children’s Emergency Crisis Center opened in August 2000 with the assistance of the JDC, and recent much needed improvements through private donors including Beth Yeshua International.
Children from all over Israel, who need to be removed immediately from their home and surroundings, are referred to Neve Michael through the Welfare Department and arrive at the Emergency Crisis Center, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Despite major government budget cuts, Hava Levene, and the devoted Neve Michael team, works continuously to treat the children. These children are in constant need of professional therapy and diagnostic testing.
The objective is to help these children break the vicious cycle of distress. Each child responds differently to the various treatments available. Therefore, the support team members try to find the best way to reach into the children’s souls.
Most children who arrive at the Emergency Crisis Center cannot return home. They are there through holidays and summer vacations. The Team at Neve Michael strives to make an immense difference in the lives of these children. They cannot change the hurtful past for these children. But, together, we can promise to give them a better future.
A Brief History - Then...
In April 1943 the first public religious institute for children from the age of 3-6 was founded at Bet Hayeled (A Child’s Home) in Pardes Hanna, Israel. The Children’s home which later came to be known as Neve Michael Children’s Home was founded by the Mizrachi Women’s Histadrut Federation of America and the local Hapoel Hamizrachi Operators Council.
Initially, the Home absorbed 25 children, among them: 10 children of Hagana recruits, 10 children from Teheran and 5 children who were separated from their families. The institute’s management group did not spare any efforts to create a safe haven for those first children who were brought through the gates.
Shortly after the establishment of the State of Israel, the Home was visited by Jakob Michael, a prominent Jewish industrialist and philanthropist. He and his wife Erna were enchanted with Beit Hayeled, its pastoral surroundings and mostly by the children who were growing up in a warm, loving and safe environment. They wouldn’t leave the premises without leaving a most generous gift, for which the Home was later named: the Neve Michael Children’s Home.
Now, many years later, the name is still appropriate, both in recognition of our kind benefactor, and with regard to the meanings of the Hebrew term “neve” – oasis, haven, and abode.
A Bit More History - Through to Now...
The first Director of Neve Michael was a Holocaust survivor named David Friedman who served the children’s home for 36 years until he retired due to ill health. He was replaced in the role of Director by another gentleman who served Neve Michael for 32 years – also named David Friedman.
You can hear more of the touching story of Neve Michael’s early years straight from Hava’s own lips by watching the video below (from the 0:08 mark to the 7:38 mark).
Bill Forster, of The Forster Foundation, delights us with a candid retelling of how he and Rabbi Greg came to know each other and to work tirelessly for the children in a number of projects including Wheelchairs for Israel and iPads for Wheelchairs. Bill is also the President and National Director of Neve Michael Children’s Village USA. You can listen to Bill retell the story on the video below from the 8:19 minute mark.
When did Beth Yeshua International become involved?
It was Chanukah 2003 when a much younger Rabbi Greg Hershberg received an answer to one of his deepest heart’s longings. It came via an unusual meeting and involved a small bottle of homemade vinegar – and a whole lot of prayer.
Hear Rabbi Greg tell of this most unusual encounter in his own words in the video below (from the 22:22 minute mark). This is one story you won’t want to miss!
How can I get involved?
You too can be part of the miracle that is Neve Michael. You may donate online to Neve Michael here. If you have any questions regarding their donation page, you need to contact them directly with your questions.
If you prefer, you may mail a check to:
Friends of Neve Michael Children’s Village, USA
P.O. Box 260067
Pembroke Pines, FL 33026
Angels and Guardians
A Love Story
In April of 2018, when Rabbi Greg Hershberg led a Beth Yeshua International Pilgrimage to Israel, Neve Michael Children’s Village honored him for his 15+ years of support. This is a video of that tribute of thanks.
And, we extend that warm and heart-felt Thank You to all of you who have supported Neve Michael over the years.
The religious observance that God the Father considers pure and faultless is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being contaminated by the world.