Dad passed away on 9 Adar II, 5768, at age 85. We thought it fitting to establish a chapter of American Friends of ELI in his memory because the life he led exemplified the goals of ELI and bore a particular relationship to his life.
Dad lost his father when he was four years old. The impact on his life was traumatic. Until his dying day, he felt that he was somehow less of a father to us because he never had the example of a father to learn from. Although his relatives provided excellent role models, the loss of his own father was something he felt for 81 years.
We thought he did a splendid job of fathering us, but perhaps are more sensitized to the plight of children who grow up either without parents, or with parents who, for whatever reason, are unable to provide them with a safe environment in which to thrive to adulthood.
We therefore thought it appropriate to memorialize Dad by helping the thousands of children in Israel who are removed from their homes for abuse or neglect, and, through ELI, receive a variety of services designed to find them a safe and nurturing place to grow, either in their families, or elsewhere.
When you are a child in the Holy Land, but your life is Hell because of sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, or neglect, and your parents cannot help you, who is there to help you?
When a family starts to fall apart do to the strain of living in fear of terrorism, and the children get abused, who do you call?
When you notice that a child appears abused or neglected, who do you call?
When you find yourself abusing your own child, and don’t know how to stop, who do you call?
When you are a teacher, and you suspect a student is being abused at home, who do you call?
If you are a social worker, and a child needs to be removed from his or her home for personal safety, where do bring the child?
When you live in a rural area, and need to bring counseling to a family with child abuse, who do you call?
When you are a school administrator, and you want to educate young children on the difference between “good secrets” and “bad secrets,” who do you turn to for proven prevention programs?
When you live in a community where knowledge that there is abuse in your family will make you outcast in the community, who do you call to get help?
When you are a new immigrant, and the changes in your life are resulting in child abuse, who do you call?
When the Internet makes your children vulnerable to sexual predators, who do you call to get help in passing effective laws?
When it takes only 15 seconds, on the average, for a decoy on the Internet to be contacted by a potential pedophile, who works to create effective prevention programs?
When the time-honored response to sexual abuse in your community is to send the abused child’s sibling to abuse a sibling of the abuser, who do you call to educate the community on ways to stop the cycle?
When your community hushes up sexual abuse because it will ruin the chances for your other children to get a “good” marriage prospect, who do you call to fix the system that allows the abuse?
For the 40,000 Israeli children who are victims of parental abuse or neglect--Jewish, Arab, Christian, Ethiopian-born, Russian-born, Israeli-born—the number to call is ELI 1-800-22-3966—The Israel Association for Child Protection.
ELI is the place that all of Israel looks to for a solution to the problem that is not supposed to exist in the Jewish homeland—child abuse and neglect.
Yet we are able to reach only 20% of the estimated victims.
Help us reach every victim of abuse.
Help us reach every perpetrators to stop abuse being passed down through generations.
Help us teach everyone who works with children how to spot abuse so help can be given.
Help us teach every child how to safely report abuse so they can receive help.
Help us advocate for just laws that effectively reduce abuse, instead of just punishing.