There are hundreds of boys of all ages like Dovid, who need to daven in shul on Rosh Hashanah. But Dovid can’t.
It might be hard for him to walk to shul, or sit during the long tefillos. Perhaps he needs help davening. He may not be able to remain quiet during the tekios. If a father or brother helps him, it will diminish their own davening. Surely, his family doesn’t mind, but at the same time, it’s distracting to them, and to the rest of the tzibbur.
Enter Project Refuah.
100 families signed up this year, like every year, to send their sons to the Rosh Hashanah Respite Program in Jerusalem, held in the Amit Zivya school. As usual, Project Refuah went all out, coordinating a three-day overnight respite program where children with special needs came together. A beautiful shul was set up on the premises, making the boys feel as if they were in their fathers’ beautiful batei knessiot. But the davening catered to the needs of the children.
An atmosphere of joy permeated the air during prayers, as well as during the holiday meals. Activities, on each child’s level, were provided. 100 young men volunteered to be with these special children during the entire holiday, leaving their families and their shuls, because, as one volunteer, explained, “This is the best, most spiritual way to start a new year. To pray to Hashem among these special neshamos…we feel it’s a guarantee for a good, successful year.”
The parents concur. Their gratitude makes words superfluous, because, they say, how can you thank people who take such good care of their children physically while also ensuring their spiritual wellbeing? And the eyes, the smiles of the boys, in their own shul, at their Yom Tov seudos, speaks volumes. Project Refuah has once again come through for the heroic families of special children.
At the same time, 25 girls came together in our Bnei Brak respite home for a separate three-day event, while our Jerusalem respite home, too, continued to provide their services all through the holiday. In all, 140 families have already benefited from our services this year. That’s an impressive number, not even one week into the year!