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Anne Heyman, Of Blessed Memory

 

While I have worked and volunteered in the Jewish Community for many years, I hadn’t heard of Anne Heyman, of Blessed Memory, until I read her obituary in yesterdays New York Times. She died tragically at the age of fifty two shortly after she fell off a horse during a riding competition in Florida.

Anne Heyman was a philanthropist and activist. When she learned that the Civil War in Rwanda had left many children orphaned, she worked diligently to establish a youth village for them in their native land.

One of the things that caught my attention was that she modeled her program after the Israeli Orphanage System. She was motivated by the success that Israeli Orphanages have had in rescuing, rehabilitating, and reconnecting Jewish Orphans. According to the New York Times “house mothers were hired locally to make the houses into homes, often the first home the youths had ever known”.

She visited several orphanages in Israel before she began her project. While I don’t know for certain if Mrs. Heyman visited Lev Lalev in Netanya, she very well may have. The model that she used to successfully provide a home for the Rwandan orphans is one that we at Lev Lalev have utilized since our founding over sixty years ago. Mrs. Heyman found that by recruiting local staff who shared her passion for helping orphans, she was able to create the warm environment necessary for the transformation of these orphans. At Lev Lalev too, our staff are selected from within the community. This philosophy enables our girls to quickly find a comfort level. It builds immediate trust and thrusts our girls into a positive and constructive routine from the earliest days that our girls come to the Home. In this way we are able to quickly turn the girl’s sadness into happiness as she begins her new journey.

Anne Heyman will be missed but she leaves behind a legacy of good deeds and great success. Recently when I visited Israel I met two new girls who had just arrived at Lev Lalev. I know that the task of helping these girls will be challenging. At the same time, I know that with the help of our friends around the world we will succeed.

Anne Heyman is an inspiration and so are hundreds of donors and friends like you ( Lev Lalev supporters) who  understand that what you do makes a great difference for the orphans, social orphans, and unfortunate young children in Israel.

Todah Raba, A heartfelt thank you. What comes from your heart goes to theirs.

 

SHP

1 comment

  1. sharona p

    Why do bad things happen to good people. It hurts!

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