19 A Very Large Israeli Family Needing Help The 224 youngest children who currently live at Beit Elazraki are part of an extended family of 511 children who have been orphaned or came from troubled backgrounds where their parents may have been incarcerated or have drug or other serious issues. Some of the children were beaten, abandoned and/or molested. Incredibly, almost all of their parents were treated in a similar manner by their parents. What a horrible legacy. 511 children who came to Beit Elazraki broken. Yehuda Kohn has found a way for each of the children to feel part of a family. Each child is given the love and respect necessary for them to grow to be happy productive adults. Yes, the bedrooms look like dorm rooms and dining room looked like a boarding school or camp, but the smiles of inner contentment that we saw showed us that these kids were getting a chance to grow up as normally as possible. There are birthday parties, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs and weddings. Weddings? Yes, weddings. At 18 most Israeli’s go into the army, but on many weekends, they go home. When they have 2 weeks leave they go home. What home? The home they grew up in. The only home that many of these children have ever known is BEIT ELAZRAKI. And after the army when the other soldiers go home, where are the soldiers that didn’t grow up with their parents and siblings supposed to go? And when it is time to make life’s decisions and there are no parents to guide them? Yehuda and his staff are there for them. While the Israeli government gives Yehuda funding for food and lodging and some other basic necessities they only give that for the care of the under 18-year-olds. A family of over 500 where there is only basic funding for 224 and no funding for almost 300 more?? Sadly, there cannot be total normalcy because these children are not being brought up by their parents and living at home with their siblings – but the love and attention they get from the incredible staff is preparing them to grow to adulthood, have successful relationships, and finally break the cycle of personal horrors that they had with their parents, and many of their parents had with their parents. The staff is there to help ALL 511 members of the family. Generous donors have purchased nearby buildings so there is at least short-term housing for the older members of the family. What a waste it would be to have invested 10 or 15 years guiding the young ones through adolescence and not be there to guide them through those last steps to adulthood. There are so many things that need to be done to ensure that the children of Beit Elazraki escape the cycle of horror that was to have been their destiny.