How Emunah changed my life
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Naomi Daniel with Simon Schama at the Emunah dinner at the Guildhall Photo: John Rifkin
A 19-year-old Israeli girl has told an Emunah audience how the charity’s welfare work in Israel transformed her life.
Addressing the 400 guests at Emunah’s 80th anniversary dinner at London’s Guildhall on Tuesday, Naomi Daniel spoke affectionately about her time at its Bet Elazraki children’s home in Netanya following the death of her mother.
“My parents came to Israel from Ethiopia and I was born there,” she said. “I was nine-years-old when mum died and I came to Bet Elazraki with my two younger sisters, who still live there. At first, it was really hard to be away from home but I began to feel part of a family again at Bet Elazraki. They always looked after me and gave me the courage to achieve my dreams.”
She had given up a place on the Israeli version of Pop Idol to spend a year in London as a classroom helper at the Independent Jewish Day School in Hendon.
“I was chosen from 500 girls to have the opportunity to come to London as they needed a Hebrew speaker. The staff from Emunah believed in me and the state of Israel believed in me. I am proud to be a shlicha in London and to be able to give something back.” Ms Daniel hopes to go on to study music and diplomacy.
Historian and broadcaster Simon Schama also addressed the dinner, which co-chairs Michelle Hirschfield and Esther Lee hope will raise £200,000. “Israel is a thriving modern state at the forefront of science and medicine,” they said. “But the gap between the rich and poor is getting wider and without our help it is the children who will suffer.”