«Jewish Observer»
October 2002
5763 Cheshvan

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October 11 a press conference was held dedicated to the opening of International charitable fund "Keren Or" ("sunshine" in Hebrew"). After the fund president Konstantin Fedorov, the main task of the organization is material, practical, moral support for and social protection of Jewish children - orphans. Not only Galaha Jewish children are considered but also those subject to the Law on Return. There are 118 such children in Ukraine who dwell in boarding houses, orphanages or simply in difficult conditions. The organizers have a three-year experience of working in Ukraine within an international project "Children of Israel".

The fund vice - president Polina Poltorak, widely known for her selfless work in "Sokhnut" camps over many years, told about an organizational side of the "Keren Or" activity. Yury Semenov, a fund's plenipotentiary to Western Ukraine, told in details how "Keren Or" renders help. It is noteworthy that clothes brought for the only Jewish child are also given to other children. Though we've learned from reliable sources that leadership of orphanages do not always greet this rather substantial assistance. An example is known when all children from a boarding house in Western Ukraine were granted a trip to Israel, but Jews were excluded for unknown reasons. We still do not know the details of this incident.

A speech by fund's founder - Phil Hander from Great Britain - was rather funny. Though, Mr. Hander seemed to be unaware of that. This was, mildly speaking, due to a low competence of a lady-interpreter. For example, a famous Bible phrase of Moisei "Let my people go" was interpreted as "Send these people away from here", and Hander's assurance in serious intentions of the sponsors "We are behind this new fund" sounded as "We are behind this basement". We may only guess what the founder understood from other speeches.

Phil Hander noted "Keren Or" enjoys support of sponsors from Holland, England, of the organization "Good news travels". "Sokhnut" and kheseds also reader assistance to a young fund.

After the press-conference those willing could visit the boarding house "Leader" in Pushcha - Voditsa to attend a seminar for 70 children "Keren Or" supports. Children discover the Jewish history and traditions guided by psychologists and madrikhas. The visitors also enjoyed a concert with the participation of a dancing collective "Shakhar" and art collectives of orphaned children. Children were very touching and genuine performing a romantic Israeli song "Ani veata nishane et aolam". - "We with you will change the world".


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