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Thursday, December 08, 2022
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(Courtesy of Hadassah) The community of Zhytomyr, Ukraine, under the leadership of Rabbi Shlomo and Esther Wilhelm, was saved during the first weeks of the current war. The community, along with the orphanage, Olomeinu, home to 180 children, were all brought to Israel, where they settled in Nes Harim, an area near Beitar.

Rabbi Shlomo and Esther Wilhelm, along with their dedicated staff, are doing their utmost to make sure the children receive proper medical care, therapy, education, three meals daily, a comfortable bed and above all, a warm, embracing atmosphere. The children are also taught to speak and read Hebrew to facilitate their integration into society.

The schools in the neighboring areas welcomed the children with open arms and are helping the children settle and thrive in Israel.

Bris Avrohom was instrumental in the rescue of the community, thanks to the generosity of many of the board members who paid for buses to transport and save children and mothers from Zhytomyr.

Leon and Rose Kozak of Englewood, who are on the board of Bris Avrohom, went to visit the community in Israel to observe the settlement. Rabbi Mordechai Kanelsky, executive director of Bris Avrohom, personally went to visit the new settlement in Israel.

Rabbi Kanelsky spoke to the parents and children collectively, and then individually to those who desired. He spoke to them in their mother tongue, Russian. They all expressed their gratitude to Bris Avrohom for all they did for them, from when they renovated the orphanage back in Zhytomyr to helping rescue them and bring them to Israel.

It was heartwarming to see that many of the children who grew up in the orphanage home were now counselors in the same home. More than anyone, they know what the children are lacking and how to attempt most effectively to fill that void.

After lunch, most of the children went to different activities and a small group remained in the dining room for photos.

Rabbi Shlomo and Esther Wilhelm personally asked Rabbi Kanelsky to convey their gratitude to all the supporters for their generosity in getting the community to Israel, and for their continued support to settle the families in apartments and start a new life.

To help the families continue to settle and thrive in Israel, please contact 908-289-0770.

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