Na’amat plans busy season
Friday, 09 September 2011 20:05

The Na’amat Canada Calgary School Supply for Kids program is in full swing for the 14th year in a row.  The program, which originated in Calgary and is now a staple feature in other cities, supplies backpacks filled with school supplies for more than 1,250 school-aged children who have been forced, because of domestic violence issues, to live in emergency shelters with their mothers.

This year, two more shelters in the Calgary area need help, bringing the total to 11 altogether. In addition, a major sponsor, Office Depot, has closed all of their stores in Canada. As such, support from the community is more important than ever so that increased needs can be met.

One shelter’s Executive Director compared the experience of victims of domestic violence to escaping a fire, noting that “most of the women and children arrive with just the clothes on their backs.” They leave everything behind to start a new life and, in most cases, the youngsters have to enter new schools for their own safety. That experience alone is stressful; not having their basic school supplies only adds to their anxiety.

Once all the school supplies have been collected, Na’amat Canada Calgary volunteers of all ages come out to fill the backpacks. “On packing day, we get to meet representatives from the shelters as we hand off our backpacks. It is extremely rewarding to know that our program helps brighten the lives of so many children,” says Stephanie Sacks, Na’amat Canada Calgary’s School Supplies for Kids chairperson.

Donations can be made directly to the organization through its website at www.naamat.com or by calling 403-238-1014.

Meantime, kicking off the Na’amat program calendar this year is an afternoon tea on Sunday, September 18 at 2:00 pm at the home of Stephanie Sacks. The event features Lenny Shapiro and his granddaughter Jessica Murphy, active supporters of Na’amat, who will share a unique experience on a recent trip to Israel. At the Na’amat Tel Aviv women’s shelter they met Tamar, who took refuge there to escape domestic violence. With the help of the Na’amat Canada Scholarship Fund for Higher Education, initiated by Lenny Shapiro, Tamar is now rebuilding her life by enrolling in a three-year program to become a police officer. Those interested in attending this fascinating event are requested to RSVP at 403-238-1014 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Another event, in keeping with the coming winter season, is called Keeping Calgary Warm.  Featured speaker is Jonathan Fesik of Project Warmth, a Calgary charitable organization that collects suitable winter clothing for families in need. This event is scheduled for Monday October 17 at 7:30 pm at the home of Faye Book and those planning to attend are asked to RSVP to 403-251-7105 of email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

On the lighter side, there are a diverse events ranging from learning to make sourdough bread, a night at the movies, and lessons in calligraphy.

Among the more serious topics is a discussion of stem cell research and Jewish medical ethics. This will take place at a brunch on Sunday, January 15 at 10:00 am at Beth Tzedec Synagogue. The program sponsored jointly by Na’amat and the Beth Tzedec Sisterhood, features speakers Nachum Abraham, Andrew Hagner and Rabbi Osadchey.  For more information or to RRSP, please phone 403-251-2938 or email   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

On Sunday, March 11 at 10:30 am Na'amat tackles a subject that unfortunately hits all too close to home in the Jewish community – hate crimes. The featured speaker is Doug Jones, co-chair of the Alberta Hate Crime Committee. Jones is a former officer with the Calgary Police Service and worked for many years in the area of hate crimes and worked closely with the Jewish community in that capacity on many occasions. The event is at the home of Israela Lupo and individuals are asked to RSVP at 403-281-4384 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

For more information about these or other Na’amat programs please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

 
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