Saturday, July 10, 2010

Remembering Esther--Kiryat Malachi Senior Adult Day Center

I stopped by the Kiryat Malachi Adult Day Center last week to say "hello" and drop off some donated yarn to the Ethiopian seniors that meet there 3 tims a week, on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday.  The group is run by a woman named Sara, who is the wife of the Jerusalem-ordained Ethiopian-born rabbi.  When I arrived, she was giving the woman a lesson on the blessing for making Hallah, and teaching them how to make it.  They welcomed me warmly.  Here are some of the pictures I took on my brief visit:
Rabbanit Sara explaining the blessing over Challah

Some pottery the group had made--traditional from Ethiopian and models of Challah and rugelach!
A woman showing me her embroidery

I then met the new director of the center.  Yehuda has been on the job for just 4 months.  He is originally from the States, having made aliyah many years ago.

I mentioned to the social worker how sad it was to no longer see Ester's smiling face greetinng us.  Ester had volunteered in the center for many years.  She was originally from Morocco and had worked with English-speaking soldiers stationed there during World War II.  Whenever she saw volunteers from the US, she greated them warmly and told them her history.  She had married but never had any children, so the center was her family.  This past winter she got sick.  The local community helped her a lot.  In late winter or early spring, she passed away. 

In memory of Ester and her welcoming spirit, staff members of the center contributed money and time to make the back patio a garden in her memory.  The building caretaker (av habayit) coordinated the effort.  Here are pictures I took of the "Ester Garden."

On one side of the garden on an inside window is a mosaic made by one of the men in the crafts class.  It says, "Bruchim Habaim," or "Welcome,"  something Ester always said too.

Here is what the garden looks like, standing in the center of the walkway between the 2 buildings.  The area is cover by a study blue material to make it safer to walk in winter.  On the wall on the left is a poem in Esther's honor.

Ester in costume in her earlier days.

As you pass to the next building, this is another part of the garden on the right.  The circular sign on the wall says "Ester's Garden.:

A more recent photo, the way most of us remember Ester, Zichrona Uvracha.

No comments: