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A momentous event for the emerging Jewish yishuv in Eretz Yisrael took place in April 1943 with the opening of the first public religious institute for children from the age of 3-6 at Bet Hayeled (A Child’s Home) in Pardes Hanna. Our Home was founded by the Mizrachi Women’s Histadrut Federation of America and the local Hapoel Hamizrachi Operators Council. Initially, the Home absorbed 25 children, among them: 10 children of Hagana recruits, 10 children from Teheran and 5 children who were separated from their families. 

Though the facilities had a limited amount of absorption space which couldn’t receive all those children in need of day care and a roof over their heads, there was an overriding sense that a vital and timely step had been taken, the first of its kind in the pre-state yishuv.

The institute’s management group did not spare any efforts to create a safe haven for those first children who were brought through our gates. Lots of thought, love and dedication was invested in every piece of furniture and child’s toy, as well as all the work tools and kitchen utensils. The imposing Home and the garden, fruit trees and ornamental trees surrounding it spread over 5 dunams, which gave the impression of a palace for children immersed in green and flowers.

The Home’s many unique qualities and the strong will of the management and staff offered hope for each child who was separated from his family in those dark years in our history.

​Shortly after the establishment of the State of Israel, our Home was visited by Jakob Michael, a prominent Jewish industrialist and philanthropist. He and his wife Erna were enchanted with Beit Hayeled, its pastoral surroundings and mostly by the children who were growing up in a warm, loving and safe environment. They wouldn’t leave the premises without leaving a most generous gift, for which we named our Home for them: the Neve Michael Children’s Home. Now, many years later, the name is still appropriate, both in recognition of our kind benefactor and with regard to the meanings of the Hebrew term “neve” – oasis, haven, and abode. For the many children who passed through our open gates, were nurtured in our Home and came out as vibrant young men and women, these meanings most surely apply.


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