On Thursday October 25th, over 40 WIZO Germany Executive members, donors and friends gathered to inaugurate WIZO's new Dr. Kurt and Sigrid Blondheim Day Care Center in Mevaseret Zion, a growing suburb of Jerusalem.
Left to right: Mevaseret Zion Mayor Yoram Shimon, World WIZO Chairperson Prof. Rivka Lazovsky, and WIZO Germany President Simone Graumann
The state-of-the-art center, named in memory of Dr. Kurt Blondheim z”l , was made possible by his widow, Mrs. Sigrid Blondheim, of Frankfurt, Germany. Although Mrs. Blondheim was unable to attend the dedication ceremony, she was represented by many family members and friends.
Representing World WIZO at the event were World WIZO Chairperson Prof. Rivka Lazovsky, World WIZO President Esther Mor, and many members of the World WIZO Executive.
WIZO Germany President Simone Graumann, was joined by Honorary President Rachel Singer, Vice President Nicole Faktor, as well as members of WIZO Germany Executive and friends - Dr. Shoshi Feingold-Studnik, Mrs. Riwa Sandberg, Mrs. Jenny Sommer, and Mrs. Lilian Tichauer.
Built in cooperation with the Mevaseret Zion Municipality, the new day care center, situated in a residential neighborhood filled with young, working couples and their children, will serve the growing needs of the community. The impressive facility includes three classrooms and playgrounds for babies and toddlers from six months to three years old.
Guests were greeted by the little children who wore "I love Sigrid" t-shirts in German, waving Israeli and German flags.
After a plaque unveiling ceremony honoring the donors, Dr. Kurt and Sigrid Blondheim, two additional plaques were unveiled in honor of Dr. Gaby Goldman, instrumental in securing the donation for the center, and Johnny Klinke, a faithful supporter of WIZO Germany.
Following the ribbon cutting ceremony and the affixing of the center's mezuzah by Mevaseret Zion’s Mayor Mr. Yoram Shimon, together with Dr. David Blondheim, a family relative, greetings were delivered by Prof. Rivka Lazovsky, Mayor Shimon, and Mrs. Graumann.
The guests were then entertained by the children in the kindergarten classroom together with their caregivers who sang and danced with the guests.
Moshe Ami de Costa, father of Sophia, who attends the Blondheim Day Care Center, arrived during the festivities and expressed his sincere gratitude to WIZO.
Speaking in English, he said, “Six years ago I came to Israel as new immigrant from Brazil without work and without money, but then I found a family and a new home with WIZO. On behalf of all the parents of all the children at this wonderful day care center, I want to thank WIZO for all you do for these children and for all the love and care you give us. As a parent, there is nothing more satisfying than knowing that when you bring your child to this center they will be getting the most love and care possible. The staff here is incredible. The facility is wonderful – and most importantly, our children are so happy here. Thank you, WIZO!”
In her remarks, Prof. Lazovsky spoke about the Blondheim’s legacy.
“Although I did not have the pleasure and honor of meeting the late Dr. Kurt Blondheim, the one thing I heard, again and again, was about the modest life he and his beloved wife Sigrid led. In Hebrew, there is a beautiful word that describes this kind of person –"ענווה" (anava) – which means modest, to be humble, a person who treats others respectfully, as equals. From what I have learned about Dr. Kurt and Sigrid Blondheim, this word perfectly describes them and the life they lived together.
On behalf of the World WIZO Executive, I would like to thank you, Mrs. Sigrid Blondheim for your wonderful gift to the children of Israel. May the memory of your husband Kurt, be a source of blessing for all these beautiful babies. You contribute to the education of these children who are the future of the State of Israel. They are our Tikvah, our hope.Thanks to generous and Zionist Chaverot like you, WIZO is able to embrace, educate and provide a warm home to the children attending the Dr Kurt and Sigrid Blondheim Day Care Center for years to come.”
Photo Credits: Kfir Sivan