Each year, new and familiar faces gather around our Passover seder tables to hear the timeless story of freedom over oppression. At Jewish National Fund, our table has grown to include many who call Israel home and includes men and women, young and old, individuals of different ethnicities, from one side of the country to the other, and everyone in between. Perhaps just like your own seder table this year.
The faces at our table have many stories: Orr was only 18 months old when his mother brought him to JNF’s horseback riding therapy center deep in the Negev desert, in search of urgent help. Suffering from cerebral palsy along with an extremely rare genetic condition, Orr was unable to sit up or hold his head upright.
That is no longer the case. Riding therapy has had amazing effects. Today, 8-year-old Orr can sit in the saddle and hold his head up. His muscles are stronger because of the horse’s movement and his work staying aloft. The horse’s gait, along with Orr’s subsequent hip movement, help his brain “learn how to walk.”
There is no way to fully measure the benefits horses provide, and it’s thanks to our donors that kids like Orr have great care. Two hundred individuals receive weekly treatment, totaling 10,000 sessions a year.
There are many faces at our table, and many more will continue to appear as we move forward together with you, our partners in Israel.
I extend my sincere wishes to you and your families for a very happy and healthy Passover.
Beth Gluck is executive director of the Jewish National Fund of Greater Atlanta.