As a teenager, I spent a year living in Israel, where I was able to volunteer at Keren Or’s Jerusalem Center for the Blind and Disabled. Every week, I traveled an hour by bus to spend time with a young girl named Aya. It was such a special and meaningful part of my Israel experience. Years later, my time at Keren Or and the memories I made there with Aya, have inspired me to continuing supporting the organization as a donor.
Twenty years after this experience, my daughter, Tamar, followed in my footsteps and chose to Keren Or for her Bat Mitzvah project. She worked tirelessly for weeks to create tactile books for the children of Keren Or as part of her Mitzvah project. This process was so meaningful to her that she also decided to hold her Bat Mitzvah celebration at the Keren Or campus. Along with inviting family and friends, Tamar also invited the students and staff of Keren Or to celebrate this special occasion with her.
It was a beautiful party, made even more special by the presence of Aya, who still lives in residence at Keren Or and remember me from when I volunteered there so many years ago. It was so emotional to see Aya and experience her warm personality in person once again.
My relationship with Keren Or has come full circle, and hopefully one day Tamar will know the joy of passing down a commitment to Keren Or to her own children as well.