Greeting for a Happy New Year!
On Thursday afternoon September 10, 2009, “A Package from Home” as part of its 2nd Annual Respite week program was privileged to welcome fifteen severely wounded Israeli soldiers requiring long term medical care, and their aides, to the 5 star Inbal Hotel in Jerusalem, one of the few hotels in the Country with an adequate number of handicapped accessible rooms. They were directed to their rooms where they were greeted with a welcoming basket of fresh fruit. Later that evening, they left for a banquet dinner at the beautiful Papagaio restaurant, a short distance away.
At the restaurant, I was, once again, struck to see how young these soldiers were. I noticed a young man who was painfully thin and asked our liaison at the hospital about him. He explained that his wounds were not visible but rather he had suffered extensive internal surgeries and was now just beginning to be able to enjoy normal food. Some of the soldiers were wearing artificial limbs and they were in the process of receiving rehabilitation treatments to teach them to how use these aids properly. Each soldier had his own story to tell. After being in the hospital for so many months, the group was delighted to be able to share this weekend together. Several other diners at the hotel reported that a wonderful time was had by all.
They spent Friday afternoon visiting the nearby Sataf Cheese Farm, where they learned how different cheeses were made. The farm was wheel chair accessible and extremely enjoyable.
Later that day, they enjoyed hanging out and swimming at the hotel pool before getting ready for Shabbat. That evening they shared a festive Friday night dinner and on Saturday, they enjoyed the famous Israeli breakfast and the incredible Shabbat buffet lunch. That evening, they left the hotel, rested, relaxed and feeling ready to face the next round of operations and rehabilitation treatments.
A hardy Yasher Koach to Anita and Roger Kamien who volunteered their time and their talent to perform a magnificent concert for two pianos at the Jerusalem Music Center, which offered its facilities gratis. Our deep appreciation goes to the Teen Philanthropy Institute (TPI), a partnership between the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades and Areyvut for their generous grant which helped this Respite Care Weekend. We would like to thank Dan Lindenfeld, in New York for making our presentation to TPI, to all the benefactors of the concert, to all who attended the concert and to all those who helped us make this Respite Care Weekend and “A Package From Home” a reality.
When the soldiers take their oath of allegiance to the IDF, they hold a Bible in one hand and their weapon in the other hand. They promise to protect the Land of Israel and the People of Israel. When they say the People of Israel, they mean all of us, where ever we live and not only those of us living inside of Israel. These soldiers have fulfilled their obligation and they have paid a heavy price. When they complete their treatments they will be living with the memory of that heavy price. Those memories will last a life time.
I am attaching letters of appreciation received from the soldiers with an English translation and pictures taken during the weekend.
May you and your family enjoy a Healthy and Happy New Year.
G'mar Chatima Tova
Barbara Bloom Silverman
Founder – A Package From Home
||Thank You! - translation by by Shaul Shaulson
"In order to fulfill an old dream
There is a need for one million dreamers who don't blink their eyes...
And are willing to come close to their dream
Those who still remember how to ease the pain..."
Words by Ehud Manor – from the song Little Dream.
We thank you for your warm hospitality and that you gave us a place in your hearts.
Because of people like you it is possible to believe in the realization of dreams.
With great appreciation….
The severely wounded from Tzahal and the volunteers from the Rehabilitation Center in Tel Hashomer Hospital.