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Israel & Christians Today

Biblical understanding about Israel

December 7, 2016

The Special Work of Aleh

Doron Almog is a war hero. He fought for the liberation of hostages at Entebbe airport in Uganda, and became Major General. But when I met Doron Almog, all those achievements don’t mean much to him. His son Eran, who passed away in 2007, is his main motivation. “I can be a great guy, a good General... But what kind of father have I been? That’s what matters.”

Doron and his wife’s son, was born with a severe form of autism and a mental disability. “As parents, we searched for a good home where he could grow up but in a predominantly ultra-Orthodox Bnei Brak, there was only one institution with a very good reputation. However, it was only for children from Orthodox families and that didn’t suit us. In 1996, Aleh opened a branch in Gedera, welcoming non-Orthodox children. That was when I got involved with Aleh.

Aleh asked if I could use my extensive network to help raise money. In a short time, I raised enough for the construction of a new building in Gedera, one with high specifications and functionality. When the building was finished, the manager called me and said, “You should see the children, they love it, they are laughing!” It was evident how much the children loved their new surroundings. That gave me the idea for a whole village.

In Israel, amenities for children like Eran, are paid for from the age of three to twenty one. They are then expected to ‘integrate’ into society. But this is impossible for children like Eran, who has multiple severe disabilities. They usually end up in a nursing home, among the elderly, or in hospital, in a closed ward. But I envisioned something else - a town where people like Eran could live and enjoy life, with gardens, animals, music, sports, entertainment... That town is Aleh Negev, where we do a reversed integration. Rather than integrate these helpless people into society, we bring society to them. In addition to the staff, we have a lot of volunteers and visitors who help, so the people get a lot of attention and love in the village.”

This reversed integration pays off, and is evident from the enthusiasm to volunteer at Aleh Negev. “We have many volunteers from the Army,” says Almog. “When former Chief of Staff Benny Gantz visited Aleh a while back, he asked every soldier who volunteered what they did and what they had learned. They said that working with the people of Aleh, gives you perspective on life. It is extremely rewarding, making you a better person.”

“My son Eran was my biggest teacher. He taught me step by step to become a better person, prepared for a higher mission. He is always with me, in me. You can be a great guy, a good General, but what kind of father are you to me? How do you feel to have such a son? Are you ashamed of me? Or are you there for me? What kind of world are you willing to create for me and children like me? Aleh was really the work of Eran. I’m just the messenger.”

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the reunification of the city of Jerusalem, Christians for Israel has decided to raise funds for a very special project – a brand new 2-story High Dependency Wing at Aleh in Jerusalem which will accommodate 24 patients. All donations are welcome!

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