On the fourth light of Hanukah, SHEKEL and ‘HaMetzion – Chain of Second Hand Stores’, launched a new collection center at the underground parking lot of Modi’in’s Azrieli mall, intended as a drop off point for donations of clothing, household goods, jewelry, books and toys.
A social enterprise operating in partnership with SHEKEL, Hametzion employs tens of people with disabilities at its three branches in Jerusalem and Ramat Gan. It recently expanded to add another four such employees who work together with a SHEKEL vocational facilitator, at the new Modi’in collection center. They are responsible for collecting items from mall customers, and then sorting and preparing them for sale at HaMetzion’s various stores.
Tens of visitors and dignitaries participated in the grand launch on the mall’s P1 parking level. Among them was Modi’in’s deputy mayor, Mr. Amiad Taub, who put up the Mezuzah and lit a Hanukah candle together with Modi’in Rabbi, Rav Yakov Chikotai; mall manager, Mr. Zvika Rosental; and director of the city’s welfare division, Ms. Marina Sadeh. Deputy mayor Taub was happy to report on additional SHEKEL projects in the city, including ‘living in the community’ apartments for people with disabilities. The head of the HaMetzion enterprise, Mr. Avi Aviakar, spoke of “a wonderful response from Modi’in residents and the warm embrace of the mall’s management”, and expressed his hope of expanding HaMetzion in the city. Dr. Erez Ezrachi, director of resource development at SHEKEL, thanked the many partners for the success of the new project and particularly warmly noted the support of the Azrieli Group and the Azrieli foundation for SHEKEL projects over the years. SHEKEL CEO, Ms. Clara Feldman, stressed the importance of including people with disabilities in the workplace as an integral part of the general community, and spoke of the great significance of SHEKEL’s partnerships with HaMetzion and the Modi’in mall.
But the last word went to Nir, one of the four new workers at the collection center. When asked how he felt about his work, Nir answered without hesitation: “I love the work, it’s fun coming to work here”.