Cultural activities fill a large part of the day at Tovei Ha’ir Residence. There are three main kinds of activities: Torani activities, exercise and health, and cultural activities. The morning hours are usually devoted to exercise classes such as posture classes, upper and lower body workouts, Tai Chi, gentle exercise, guided imagery, Zumba gold and exercise classes for men and women. Arts and crafts and drawing classes include beadwork, jewelry making, embroidery, knitting, fabric crafts, coloring, crafts from recycled materials, oil painting on canvas and more.
Ulpan classes are held on four levels, as well as classes of English conversation, folk-dancing, new-media and current news with the news editor and broadcaster Ariel Sherper, sing-alongs, gardening and more.
Afternoons are dedicated to lectures. Two lectures are offered almost every day, one in English and one in Hebrew. The lectures touch on topics from Parahat Hashavua, the reasons behind the mitzvot, Neviim Vektuvim to Jewish and international music through the ages, health, science, history, literature and more.
On days when there are no lectures, musical performances are held, including classical, light classical, hazanout, songs by Eretz Yisrael, Carlebach and various instruments: piano, trumpet, clarinet and more. A musical performance is also held every Saturday evening during the winter. Full-length movies are screened twice a week and once a week a nature movie is offered.
On Sundays a midrasha is held for women, and women from the area join residents for two regular lessons on Torani topics.
Once a month we hold a birthday party to celebrate the birthdays of those born that Hebrew month. Family members join the birthday boy or girl to celebrate, listen to their favorite song, and watch their old photos that are screened for everyone’s enjoyment.
Occasionally we take trips. Sometimes it is a short visit to the Western Wall, sometimes it is a half-day trip around Jerusalem, and sometimes it is an outing for a whole day. We recently visited the new visitor center at Yad Sarah, took a trip to Tel Aviv and walked up to the Azrielli observation tower, visited the Etzel Museum and ate a delicious lunch at a restaurant. Another trip was to the north, to the Orot Rabin Power Station and the wonderful Yankel’s Shtetl museum at Kfar Hasidim. In the winter, we spent three days in Eilat.
We also hold special activities for the holidays also.
During the month of Elul and the High Holidays we hold charity events including fairs where new and second hand items are sold for charity; hafrashat Challah, hazanout concerts and more.
During Succot we hold musical performance and Simchat Beit Hashoeva with young yeshiva bochers who bring the spirit of youth to the Residence.
Every evening through the days of Hanukkah, we have a special event such as a musical performance, a bingo and game night, or party for family members with activities for children.
On Purim, the Residence dresses up and looks completely different. The residents participate in the very festive Purim Meal (Seuda) and the best costumes win prizes.
During Pessach, there are special activities for the holiday,
Remembrance days are marked by moving ceremonies, and Israel’s Independence Day is celebrated in blue and white.
In the summer, we hold our Dor Le’Dor (Generation to Generation) event—a special fund day for grandchildren and great-grandchildren
A Good New Year to all the people of Israel and Gmar Hatima Tova
from Tovei Hair Residents.
Participants: residents, staff, family members and soldiers.
After the ceremony, residents and soldiers held discussion groups.
Every month Tovei Ha’ir Residence holds a rosh chodesh (first day of the month) party and a birthday celebration for those who have birthdays the same month. Family members (of the birthday girls and boys) are invited as well as the rest of the residents. The event is moderated by the Residence’s manager (av bayit), Mr. Shlom Wallach. The Residence’s rabbi, Rabbi Natan Shapira, gives the divrei torah, while Akiva Margaliot is in charge of the music. During the party, photos are screened of the birthday boys and girls, from their childhood to present, and this adds to the atmosphere of nostalgia, pride and gratification, and joy.
The Admor of Boston Shalita came to Israel for a visit, and despite his busy schedule he made time to come to Tovei Ha’ir Residence, express his encouragement and support and give divrei torah at the Beit Midrash. After the Hassidic divrei torah relating to the Shovavim period, the rabbi met with residents and staff, and blessed them with good health and a long life. He visited the different departments and was especially impressed by the Brain Care Center managed by Mrs. Rivka Black.
In anticipation of the 10th of Tevet, the General Kaddish Day, Tovei Ha’ir Residence was honoured by the visit of Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau Shalita, Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv and former Chief Rabbi of Israel. Rabbi Lau is the youngest person to have survived the Buchenwald concentration camp, and he is the author of “Do Not Raise a Hand Against the Boy.”
Rabbi Lau spoke to the residents and explained the meaning of this day and the connection between the fast to mark the beginning of the siege and choosing this day as a General Kaddish Day in memory of Holocaust victims. He also mentioned that some Holocaust survivors physically survived, but their soul is empty and without faith. The rabbi finished with a plea and prayer that the people of Israel will know joy and happiness.
Tovei Hair organized a workshop in conjunction with Eshel called “How to get into shape.” The residents filled out questionnaires and underwent an evaluation, including balance, strength, speed etc. At the end of the activity they received instruction on how to improve balance and strength using exercise bands that were distributed to all. It was a constructive and enjoyable day.
One day a year, Tovei Hair Residence becomes a magical place for the grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nephews and nieces and acquaintances aged five and up, and they enjoy a morning organized especially for them. The children had fun in arts and craft workshops, an inflatable playground, blew huge soap bubbles into the air, ate popsicles and played games. In the little chef workshop, the children prepared aprons and chef hats for themselves and a delicious pizza. At another stall, children prepared gift packages of sweets for hospitalized children. The whole day of grandparent-grandchild moments was documented on photo magnets. At the end of the day, all enjoyed Lior’s juggling act. Lior is autistic, and his parents discovered a way to empower him through his love of music and his unique ability to juggle balls, plates and more. The children were fascinated, and the adults cheered and encouraged.
The residents later delivered the gift packages that the children had prepared together with special get well wishes to sick children at Sha’arei Tzedek Hospital.
The annual charity fair was organized by the residents themselves and all the profits went to Kav Lachayim. It was amazing to see residents of 85, 90 and 97 manning the stalls selling second- hand items, and serving coffee, cake and pizza to guests. The whole lobby was devoted to stalls selling second-hand housewares, jewelry, and accessories. All items were donated by the residents. A store with clothes for the whole family was set up, including clothes for babies, suits and ties for men and evening clothes, coats and knits for women. Even bags, hats and wigs were on sale. All these were also second-hand items donated by the residents.
All visitors enjoyed the fascinating lecture of Rabbi Ilan Shapira and children were kept busy with special activities organized for them. In the dining room, artists set up stalls and sold their crafts and artwork and donated a part of their profits as well.
A draw was held at the end of the evening and prizes included jewelry, cosmetic products, toys, books, gift cards, the four species, a small Torah for children, and a pearl ring that were donated by the residents. The first prize, donated by Tovei Ha’ir management, was a weekend at Tovei Hair Residence.
In addition to the fun and satisfaction in doing a charitable deed, the residents managed to raise a substantial sum, which the Tovei Hair Residence management immediately matched.
A meaningful part of life at Tovei Ha’ir Residence is the outings and field trips adapted to the needs and mobility of residents. Mr Shlomo Wallach, the Residence’s manager (av bayit) who is also a licensed tourist guide, organizes and guides these fascinating tours.