In the Emunah Afula Children’s Home everyone is excited as the Passover holiday approaches because dozens of families will be hosted there.
Michael Gaidel, age 24, is organizing the Seder. Michael is a graduate of the Home and has now returned there as a counselor for at- risk youth – ‘closing the circle’.
Michael will not celebrate this Passover in his own home, but instead he will be with the children in his group, and this time the holiday meal will also be attended by the families of the children cared for at this Emunah children’s home, who come from difficult backgrounds.
This will be an abundant Seder night with 100 invitees, held in collaboration with Chabad emissaries from Afula – Rabbi Amir and Nitza Halevi from the Chabad “Ethalta” center. “This is the first year that we have invited the families of the children, and they are very excited,” says Michael.
Michael explains, “These are approximately 90 children, all residents of Afula, who are cared for at the Emunah Afula home on a daily basis in our after school child care program for children at risk. We checked to see which of these families needed a place to celebrate the Seder night. We invited them, along with other needy families in Afula. In the end, we are talking about people who had nowhere to celebrate the Seder night, and nothing warms the heart more than the ability to help others.”
For Michael, this is a particularly exciting event, since he himself lived and was raised in Emunah Afula, from a small child through to 12th grade. After finishing the army with honors, Michael had a dream to return to the Home and be a counselor. A special guest will be attending the Seder with Michael – his mother, who will come to celebrate the holiday. “For me it’s closing a circle,” he concludes, “this place gave me a lot and shaped me to be who I am today – from second grade to the military. I did not give up on my dream both in the army and afterwards, I came back to Emunah Afula Children’s Home and I had an ambition to be a counselor. It was my dream to come back here and give back to the people and community I came from. “
Michael Gaidel Photo: Gil Eliyahu-Gini