CHW Weekly Stories

Canadian Hadassah-WIZO (CHW)

Providing a Safe Space for Women and Children in Need

“When I left the shelter, I was stronger and more independent than ever. WIZO took me out of the darkness that was my life.”

This sentiment was expressed by Ranit, a young woman who came to a WIZO shelter in desperate need of refuge. She was married at the tender age of 21, due to pressure from her family. Soon after, Ranit became pregnant and gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. However, shortly after giving birth, Ranit’s husband became increasingly verbally abusive; constantly criticizing her as a mother and her body.

Ranit knew that this was not okay; yet she struggled. Her husband was never physically violent, so she felt that she had no excuse to leave him. Her family did not understand why Ranit was down all the time; from the outside, everything seemed perfect – a new baby, and a loving husband.

Ranit endured months of this abuse in her home. That was until one day, Ranit realized that she could not continue on living like this. While her husband was at work, she took her six month old son and fled to a WIZO shelter.

Ranit and her son spent ten months at the shelter undergoing treatment. During this time, Ranit and her little boy had a safe and loving environment where she knew they would live, free of abuse. Ranit underwent intensive individual and group therapy while receiving legal aid to assist with filing a restraining order against her husband.

Since leaving the shelter, Ranit has become a strong and independent woman. She works while her son goes to daycare. Ranit has a newfound confidence and sense of security.

The reality is that in Israel, there are at least 200,000 women dealing with abuse. Sadly, many of these women do not have a safe place to seek help and support. CHW, through supporting WIZO, provides a safe and secure place for women and children

*Please note: Name changed for confidentiality. 

Hadassah Hospital- Aly’s Story

Hearing the firsthand the experiences of the children, women, and patients from our projects demonstrates the immense impact that CHW has on so many people’s lives.

At Hadassah Hospital, a patient named Aly has begun sharing her personal story via the Hadassah Blog. Her series is called “Being a Patient at Hadassah.”

Aly shares how Hadassah has a special way of easing your anxiety and calming your fears. She speaks of the caring staff, including a Canadian nurse. And, she expresses her unwavering confidence in the quality of treatment that she receives.

Click here to read Aly’s blog.


Hadassah Hospital- Ayala’s Story

Seven month- old Ayala went to the synagogue with her family for the holidays, when tragedy struck. While Ayala’s mother, Chavi, was holding her, she managed to slip from her arms and hit her head.

The little girl began to convulse, and was suffering from intracranial bleeding. Ayala’s father, an ambulance driver and his friend who is a paramedic immediately rushed Ayala to Hadassah Hospital, while sedating and ventilating the infant.

Upon arrival to Hadassah Hospital, Ayala was taken into the neurosurgical ICU, where doctors immediately operated on the little girl, opening her skull and draining the blood.

Dr. Shweiki Moatasim, Pediatric Neurosurgeon shares, “There is no doubt that the first aid the child received, combined with anesthesia done while in the ambulance, reduced the damage significantly and greatly eased the word of the medical team.”

Ayala has since made a full recovery and has no neurological damage!


Read the original article here.

Our Daycares are Changing Lives, One Child at a Time: Maya’s Story

Maya arrived at a CHW Daycare when she was only two years old, after being referred by Welfare Services. Maya is originally from Ethiopia, and was being raised by her maternal grandmother. Her mother was suffering from severe depression, and had attempted suicide when Maya was only a few months old.

When Maya initially came to the daycare, she was a scared and shy child. Maya did not speak a word of Hebrew, and the only language that she knew was Amharic. Maya refused to let go of her grandmother, and did not want to be left alone. Initially, Maya showed no interest in playing with the other children, preferring only to sit by herself.

The caregivers tried very hard to support Maya’s needs and encourage her to play with the other children. They would spend additional one-on-one time with her, ensuring that she was eating, sleeping, and developing. However, Maya was still an unhappy child.

One special caregiver, an Ethiopian woman named Semu, decided to take Maya into her care. She spoke to Maya in her native language, combined with a few Hebrew words in an effort to teach Maya the language. After a few weeks and with a great deal of patience, Maya said her first Hebrew word, “smile.”

This, Semu shares, was the turning point for Maya. The moment Maya said her first word in Hebrew, Maya began speaking. She would combine Hebrew and Amharic when talking with the other children. Maya became more extroverted and happy, making new friends and playing while at daycare.

Maya’s grandmother is amazed by her transformation and incredibly thankful for the daycare’s unconditional support. In fact, Maya is now teaching her grandmother Hebrew in their home!

The names have been changed for anonymity.

Celebrating Sigd in our CHW Projects

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Sigd is an annual holiday in the Ethiopian community that commemorates the receiving of the Torah at Mount Sinai. As there are many Ethiopian Jews in Israel, this is a state holiday and celebrations take place throughout the country.

At CHW Netanya Technological High School and CHW Hadassim Children and Youth Village, we have many students from an Ethiopian background. Both schools held ceremonies in celebration of the holiday.

CHW Netanya and CHW Hadassim combined the musical and dancing festivities with teaching the students about the Ethiopian Aliyah to Israel and the significance of this holiday.

Many of the Ethiopian children who attend CHW’s projects are the first generation of Israeli-Ethiopians; their parents came through Operation Solomon.

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At CHW Netanya and CHW Hadassim, these children are given the opportunities and tools to become empowered, confident, and productive in order to turn their dreams into reality.