On Monday March 21st WIZO leaders gathered together with a delegation of French WIZO members, volunteers, donors and friends to inaugurate the new WIZO Rolande Zajfen Daycare Center in the southern town of Sderot.
Rolande z"l and Paul Zajfen are long time, much-admired donors and members of WIZO France, who are responsible (along with Eliane Sprung) for the annual golf tournament in Paris, now marking its 37th anniversary, that brings in hundreds of thousands of Euros to WIZO every year.
The funds that the Zajfens raised through WIZO France and contributed themselves, were earmarked for the much needed renovation and missile-proofing of the daycare center in Sderot, a town that has been a consistent target of Hamas rockets. After the recent tragic passing of Rolande Zajfen, WIZO decided to name the daycare center in her memory.
For the ceremonial unveiling of the new center, Paul Zajfen arranged for a delegation of approximately 40 family members and friends to travel with him all the way from France to a small street in the city of Sderot.
Presiding over the event was Prof. Rivka Lazovsky, Chairperson of World WIZO, with numerous members of the World WIZO executive, Joelle Lezmi, President of WIZO France and Alon Davidi, Mayor of Sderot in attendance.
After the group unveiled the plaques, toured the beautifully renovated facilities and met the center's children, Rivka Lazovsky addressed the crowd.
"Rolande, of blessed memory, worked with dedication throughout her life for the benefit of our movement and WIZO France, with unconditional love for the children of Israel. I pay tribute to her memory." Prof. Lazovsky added, "Paul, you were Rolande's partner in life and in WIZO. Today I express the profound gratitude of World WIZO to you and to Eliane Sprung." After Prof. Lazovsky concluded her blessing and thanks with a quote from haza"l, "Whatever a man gives to tzedakah will return to him, and he shall never lack anything," Joelle Lezmi, Eilane Sprung and Alon Davidi, Mayor of Sderot delivered their own thankful and moving words.
After the ceremony at the daycare center the French group was taken to a nearby promontory with a unparalleled view of the area surrounding Sderot, so that the foreigners could get a better idea of how close the town and daycare center are to Gaza, and the subsequent need for the center's missile-proof facilities.
The Zajfen's family members and friends were so moved by the experience that during the bus ride back to Tel Aviv after the ceremony, they began spontaneously pulling Euro and shekel notes form their wallets and purses, for donation to WIZO. The day ended with a completely unexpected total donation of 10,000 NIS! The proceeds from the upcoming 2016 WIZO France golf tournament have already been earmarked for the building of additional classrooms at the daycare center.
The WIZO Rolande Zajfen Daycare Center, the day spent in Sderot and the French donors are all a powerful testament to the amazing spirit of WIZO donors, volunteers and members and friends!