Two Israeli children from troubled backgrounds received a standing ovation for their duet at the London dinner of the charity which has supported them.
Elisha and Yakir, who live in Emunah’s Neve Landy village for traumatised children, sang for 350 British Emunah guests in Hebrew, ahead of their performance with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in Jerusalem later this year.
Yakir, 15, was the subject of British Emunah’s appeal video in 2015. He then revealed that he had not attended school for two years from the age of nine in order to care for his parents, who had mental health problems.
Through an interpreter, he told the JC: “It has always been my dream to be a singer and we have a music teacher at Neve Landy. It has changed everything for me. I would like to one day come back to London to sing again professionally.”
Elisha, 16, said Emunah “has changed my life in every way — especially in education.
“I have lots of friends there. Neve Landy has really pushed the music scene and we get a lot of support from teachers. Everyone is very supportive in helping us achieve our dreams.”
This year’s appeal was made by Menachem Machtayev, 30, who was raised in Emunah’s Afula home, where he now works as a counsellor.
Mr Machtayev — who took the stage with his wife and baby daughter — said that “every child and family you help brings us closer to ending the cycles of misery and pain.
“We have only been able to do this because of the support of people such as you.”
He told the JC: “I was in other boarding homes before Emunah and the difference was that it was a much better place than the other homes in every way — the food, the treatment, the people.
“After that, someone needs to work with you on your soul — to guide you, to teach you, to show you what is right and wrong.
“These kids are Israel’s future.”
The Guildhall dinner raised £350,000 towards the work of British Emunah, which helps to fund the care of 12,000 vulnerable young people in Israel.
Guest speaker was broadcaster Jeremy Vine, who donated his appearance fee to British Emunah and the Motor Neurone Disease Association.
Paying tribute to Mr Machtayev, Yakir and Elisha, he added: “It’s fantastic to connect with Emunah, a charity that I must confess I didn’t know much about and which does so much good work.”