Since 1995, the Or Haddash Talmud Torah in Jerusalem has been doing precisely what its name – literally, “New Light” – implies: illuminating the lives of hundreds of students who would otherwise be permanently plunged into spiritual darkness.

Or Haddash was established to provide a quality Torah education for children from underprivileged homes, as well as food, clothing and financial assistance for their families. Over 600 students are currently enrolled in the school, most of whom come from disadvantaged or troubled backgrounds.  At Or Haddash they receive a high-level education as well as the kind of care and support system that they so desperately need to grow and succeed. The educational formula of Or Haddash, which combines quality education with genuine and professional care for the students’ emotional and material needs, has drawn the fervent support of numerous personalities in Israel and around the world who have heaped praise upon the institution’s devoted and professional work. These include former Sephardic Chief Rabbis HaGaon Hacham Ovadia Yosef, shelit”a andRav Eliyahu Bakshi Doron,  shelit”a, current Sephardic Chief RabbiRav Shelomo Amar, shelit”a;Rav David Hanania Pinto; Rav Eliyahu Mansour; Rav Shimon Alouf; and Rav Meir Yedid.

“It Warms Our Heart”

On June 16, 2013, the institution marked its 18th anniversary with an unforgettable celebration in Jerusalem, attended by students, parents, staff, and distinguished guests, including Rav Bakshi Doron, Rav Shlomo Zafrani, Knesset Member Aryeh Deri, child singing sensation Meydad Tassa, and noted paytan Moshe Habusha.  They came to express gratitude for the school’s remarkable success and their support for its continued efforts to ensure that even children from disadvantaged backgrounds receive a proper Torah education.

Simon Douek, President of Or Haddash Institutions, expressed his admiration for the school’s accomplishments: “It is an honor to be associated with this organization. It is always an exciting experience to visit the institution. The rabbis are fantastic and doing a wonderful job; they achieve tremendous things. It is because of people like them that Am Yisraelis still together and thriving. Most of the children here come from disadvantaged homes. At Or Haddash they have found a wonderful educational framework at a high level. But that’s not all. Many receive scholarships without which they could not attend the school. This evidences the work that is being achieved here.

“It warms our heart to see the smile of the children. They fill us with joy and the strength to continue. May their good work continue to provide for the future of Israel through spiritual guidance and wise leadership.”

Responding to a Growing Need

Due to the rising demand for enrollment, the Jerusalem mayor’s office has agreed to allocate a territory of 5000 square meters for the construction of a new, modern educational and scholastic facility for the students of Or Haddash.  The new building will allow Or Haddash to provide its students with the comfort and equipment they need to receive the finest possible education and thus the greatest chances of future success. The facility will include numerous classrooms, as well as:

  • 16 spacious and comfortable bedrooms for the boarding school.
  • A library which will allow the students to hone their reading skills and expand their knowledge.
  • Computer rooms where students will learn to be proficient in modern technology.
  • Shelters in compliance with the requirements established by Israel’s Education and .Defense Ministries.
  • A kitchen and a dining room.

There are also plans for a gymnasium, soccer field and basketball court to facilitate a comprehensive athletic program, and play rooms for preschool children.

Construction at the site is already well underway, and the building’s exterior is currently being covered by Jerusalem stone, after which work will begin on the building’s interior. The project is slated to be completed next summer, with Hashem’s help.

In light of the ever growing demand, the realization of this project is essential for the future of Israel’s disadvantaged children. Or Haddash invites you to take part in this vital effort and help ensure its success, and the future success of its students. This year’s annual fundraising  event, featuring wine and scotch tasting, will be held on Tuesday, August 13 at the home of Loretta and Simon Douek, 226 Elberon Avenue, Allenhurst, NJ. The event will honor longtime supporters and friends of the institution, Edgar and Sophie Azrak of Panama. By supporting Or Haddash, you are supporting hundreds of needy children seeking what all children deserve – a warm, nurturing home and a quality education.  To make a reservation, or to learn more about Or Haddash, please contact Simon Douek, simon61@ earthlink.net.