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Thursday, March 19, 2009


I recently overheard my kids discussing "zam zam." (rhymes with "mom mom")

"What's that?" I interrupted.

Apparently, that's what the Sheirut Leumi girls call Zichron Menachem.

A few weeks ago, we discovers Zam Zam's wonderful afternoon program.

Children are picked up, from their homes or their schools, and driven to Zichron Menachem's beautiful Center in Bayit VeGan, opposite Sha'are Zedek hospital. The program is for kids with cancer and for kids who have a sibling or parent with cancer.

I quickly discovered that at Zichron Menachem cancer is not the focus, it is just the common denominator. The Center is bursting with positive energy and excitement. There are volunteers everywhere, running in and out and all over the place!!

When the children arrive, they place everything they don't need in funky, colorful lockers. Even the lockers are unconventional, placed at bold angles. (I did not even realize these bright shapes had a practical purpose when I passed them in the foyer!)

The first hour is spent doing homework. Teachers and volunteers are available to assist the children with every subject.

The next two hours are spent in chugim (activities) and hanging out at the Center.

There is play room, open all afternoon, with a pool table, foosball, and all sorts of games. Downstairs, for special treats, they have a fancy video arcade! They even have my personal favorite, air hockey!!

There is also an amazing computer room, with enough computers for everyone! (open for just half an hour, with continual supervision).

At the end of the day, the children have half an hour to eat supper before they are whisked back to their homes!

What a gift!!

MD and A go on Thursdays (my chemo day). Now, I relax during chemo, and also when I get home, knowing that my kids are being picked up from school (I used to pick them up on Thursdays), getting help with their homework, participating in chugim, and eating supper. (Though, they usually eat again when they get home. At least, they are not starving, and we can sit down and eat nicely together and spend the time catching up!)

My children all wanted to learn a musical instrument, so my youngest daughter chose to study guitar and my son is learning both guitar and keyboard!

What a fantastic opportunity for them!!

Of course, it did not occur to me that if they are learning to play, then we would need to actually get instruments, so they could practice!!

Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.

With love and optimism,


Batya said...

Wow! I thought they only helped sick children, but the service for healthy children, whose parent is sick sounds totally extraordinary. It must be quite a relief for you. Now you don't have to waste your energy worrying.

Gila said...

Wow--talk about giving new meaning to the phrase "godsend". Sounds wonderful!

אנט פרידמן said...

That's so great. My daughter and I were there about a month ago to donate her hair. The place looked gorgeous!

Anonymous said...

Both my daughter and my husband donated their hairs (yup, my husband had long braid - they accept gray:>)there. just had an idea, they should set up a beauty parlor there, only for people cutting their long tresses.

Anonymous said...

oof, wish I could figure out this tech stuff, sorry. anon was me, Klara