It’s 1:30 on a long summer Friday afternoon. There are twelve vehicles parked in the parking lot of Park Enav in Modi’in. The doors open and fifty-eight (!) children burst out of the cars ready for an afternoon of fun. Who are they?
Each one has a different story but the common denominator is that each one is living through a nightmare that no child should ever know. One has lost a parent to cancer, another is battling cancer himself and a third came home one day to find that his mother had gone on a simple shopping trip never to come home again due to a terror attack.
A carefree childhood was ripped away from these children. But does that mean that all childhood joys are also gone? Within the walls of Ezer Mizion are many programs for these children. They provide the stability that is so weak in their lives during this period of crisis, in addition to a large dose of just plain old fun.
The Modi’in Ilit Linked to Life Friday Afternoon Field Trips is just one of the many projects. Volunteers organize their week to be completely free on what would normally be a very busy day at home. On alternate Fridays during the daylight saving time period of the year, they make the rounds, picking up kids who have waited days in anticipation of the next surprise trip. It makes their day. It makes their week. And it makes their life.
Overheard on the way home: An innocent little boy’s conversation…
He sat on the back seat of the car and asked one of the volunteers for a phone to call Ima.
“Hello Ima. We really had a great time. We played, and they gave us ices and nosh, and I drank a lot of cold water. Now we’re on the way home. And Ima, you know, it was also a park for fathers… All the fathers who brought us also played with us on the playground equipment and the climbing ropes and something else, too. I forgot what it’s called… Yes, really! They played with us! It was so much fun. Those fathers are so nice! ”
The volunteer was choked up, and so were we all…
All of us fathers had been with the kids all the time: clambering up the ladder to the slide and whirling around on the carousel. If you hadn’t seen it, you wouldn’t have believed it…
The people in the park stop and ask, “What’s this? An organization? A school? Could it be one family, so large…?
Yes! It’s a family! The Ezer Mizion-Modi’in Ilit family. a family with lots of fathers: Meir, Moshe R., Moshe I. Yaakov A., Avraham, Matityahu, Yaakov N. Moshe K. Eli, Eliezer, Chaim, Eren, Aryeh, Shmulik W., Shimshon, Shmulik S., Moshe G. and Avi. A special blessing for our director, Rabbi Yaakov L. who leads the Ezer Mizion-Modi’in Ilit empire of chessed.