Hefziba girls glowing with happiness at receiving a pair of shoes from Esra

After a very exciting evening during which the choir sang, the dancers danced and the mandolin girls read and played their music at the Hefziba Chanuka party, we thought the excitement was behind us till the next performance.

But our ESRA audience had different ideas.

They wanted to donate a pair of shoes to every girl who had performed.

We drew each girl's foot and asked for the shoe-size. We picked up the shoes kindly donated and started matching the “feet to the shoes”. We marked each box with a name and our first stop was at the mandolin lesson.

Seeing these brand new shoes, still in the boxes, was a reason for great excitement. The desire to open the boxes and try on and see how beautiful the shoes looked was a privilege for us to see as the representatives of ESRA donors. These shoes came in a variety of styles – short boots, long boots, casual shoes, fancier ones - all in lovely colors.

The next day we arrived at the choir where all the shoes were identical and in three different colors. The girls were excited and asked if they had to keep the shoes for their next performance. The sparkle in their eyes when we told them that the shoes were theirs to enjoy was truly heartwarming. One of the girls sent a special message to say “Please tell that man that we love the shoes and thank him again and again!” In the early evening we gave the dancers their shoes with the same gracious reaction.

Already two days later, the dancers performed at the Netanya College... every one of them wearing her new shoes.

They have shown their gratitude. They have given us even more that we have given them. And to the donors who know that the joy of giving is greater than the joy of receiving, thanks again for letting us be the ones to witness the excitement and joy these girls showed and felt.

Joan Weisman is the coordinator of the Hefziba project.


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Joan Weisman

Joan (Stein) Weisman came to Israel in August 1972 and two weeks later started teaching. She lived in Jerusalem but traveled to Kiryat Malachi to work in two elementary schools. After four years of...

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