A short description of our projects:
ARK is a fully comprehensive program that has been devised for school children all the way through to senior citizens, with the aim of getting the entire world to increase in acts of goodness and kindness. The lessons to be learned are that one individual has the power to make a difference, and that small acts of goodness and kindness can change not only our own attitude but make a real difference in the lives of others.
ARK charity boxes have been created with the intention that people need to please fill up the ARK with spare change and once full, hand this to a person in need or a charity of their choice.
Chabad Addiction Rehabilitation Centre
Runs groups and counseling for all the addictions, including Drugs, alcohol, gambling, internet porn etc. open to all it is headed by a Clinical Psychologist and a Rabbi, both of whom are well-trained and regarded as experts in their fields. The successes here are the number of lives that have been positively influenced, families that have been saved and people who have become meaningful contributors to the community and society at large.
Is a program that provides a range of services to any Jewish inmates. These inmates would be assisted by one of the Rabbi’s at Chabad House, they would be consoled, uplifted, taught, counseled and directed by these Rabbis so that their time in prison would be a time of growth and change
The sole purpose of this program is to rehabilitate individuals in distress – financially, mentally, emotionally and physically. Whether it is an individual that needs a handout or a loan, or just a helping hand to get out of trouble, each situation will be assessed and assistance will be delivered as needed.
There are other programs out there which address a similar cause. However, the key differentiator of this program is to help in as discreet a way as possible and to preserve (at all costs) each individual candidate’s dignity and self-confidence.
A key principle of the program is that none of the individuals involved in this Program nor Chabad House / Miracle Drive will benefit in any way or make any money out of this Program. So far we have raised R300000.00 out of the R1000000.00 needed for the distress fund. Funds are administered by The Miracle Drive Trust and a committee chaired by Rabbi David Masinter adjudicates applications and provide assistance to deserving cases.
Grow Your Life Library Project:
The overall goal of Miracle Drive is to offer assistance and welfare to the greater South African community, and therefore, in continuing with this vision statement, we have decided to focus some of our resources on improving the literacy and education levels in impoverished communities throughout Gauteng, by developing and installing container libraries in areas where they are most needed.
Each container is equipped with shelving, books (including books in the native language of each community), tables and chairs, and our Grow Your Life series will be an integral element in these libraries. Each school will find volunteers to run the libraries on a part-time basis in order to facilitate the library, and over time, be responsible for teaching the children how to read themselves, thereby developing the literacy and education levels which as you know are vital in sustaining and growing any community and country.
Grow Your Life Books:
Our vision for Grow Your Life is to indelibly instill in each child a sense of responsibility and entrepreneurship, and in turn, teach our South African children how they can better themselves and the lives of those around them no matter what background they come from. This project is based on the tenet of “teaching how to fish”.
Go Kosher is a campaign set to create a broad awareness of kashrut and keeping kosher, to get to those who have no semblance of kashrut to start keeping kosher in some measure and to reach out to those already kosher to uplift their standards.
There are some segments to the campaign: Kashrut Course that has had an attendance of over 100 people, which entails 5 weeks of lectures given at Chabad House; Kashering of kitchens, which entails meeting with the family to start initial process, guiding the family through the planning process and ending off with a full Kashering of the kitchen. Go Kosher together with Bread Basket in Sandton City have come together to have kosher products with more food outlets coming on board.
Assists Jewish start-ups with interest-free loans. To date, the Miracle Drive has granted 41 small business loans to individuals. These loans range from R25 000 to a maximum of R100 000 with no security requirement. A contract is entered into with every business owner and loan are repayable over a 2-48-month period interest-free. Current market conditions and the mere nature of Greenfield loans means that the repayment of the loan book is more likely to be 64 – 84 months with 20% of the book considered non-performing.
Currently, the loan book is R1 178 466. Twenty percent of loans are considered to be non-performing with an additional 20% being slow payers. During 2016/2017 a further R100 000 of loans were granted to deserving businesses. At 28/2/2017 the fund has R600 000 to distribute to deserving businesses.
One Time Shoe Shine
One Time Shoe Shine is a job creation program whose outcome is to effectively train disadvantaged individuals in a shoe shine business. Candidates are provided with a portable shoe shine unit with the necessary start-up equipment and uniforms. A project that has over 200 portable units in circulation with 17 permanent locations and shiners.
The Kirsch Goodness & Kindness Centre
The Goodness and Kindness Centre will be based in a unique property in the heart of the Sandton CBD, across the road from the Gauteng Station and Sandton Square.
Perhaps the most essential feature of the centre, which will make it unique in the world, is the establishment of a unique experiential centre where children of all ages will be able to experience the horror of fanaticism, countered with the exciting and invigorating feeling of success generated by beliefs on oneself and a dream for the future, with genuine caring for others
The main purpose of this museum is to instill core values generated by Acts of Random Kindness.
Jewish Learning Institute
The Rohr Jewish Learning Institute (JLI) has been created in the tradition of teachers establishing bonds with students pursuing intellectual and spiritual growth in their adult years. JLI courses are designed for students ranging from first-time learners to those with years of prior study. They follow a powerful path of discovery and depth, touching the souls of their learners. Participants in JLI courses share an experience of such magnitude that many forms lasting ties of close friendship and community. Chabad House proudly offers JLI courses throughout the year. No background knowledge is required to attend these courses. Each course consists of six interactive lessons.
These classes are available for men and women and are roughly 100 weekly attendees. A few note-worthy courses that are available:
¥ Memory Programs
¥ Guest Lecturers
¥ JLI Courses: Seniors Module
¥ Kashrut Course
¥ Living Legacy
¥ Daily Kolel
The following campaigns focus on reaching out the many less observant Jews around South Africa. The aim is to educate and inspire Jewish People to learn more about Judaism and to make all aspects of Judaism accessible to all:
¥ Tefillin Campaign
¥ Kashrut Campaign
¥ Mezuzah Campaign
¥ Candle lighting Campaign
¥ Torah Books Campaign
¥ Torah Study Campaign
¥ Tzedakah Campaign
¥ Love your Fellow Campaign
¥ Family purity Campaign
¥ Moshiach Campaign
¥ Acts of Random Kindness Campaign (ARK)
The elderly is the most rapidly-growing population group and Chai Seniors wants to help fill these years with joy and a sense of caring. We arrange social events, daily lectures, educational programs and various holiday celebrations. We work with nursing homes, retirement communities and directly with individuals to help them with specific needs, including home and hospital visits, and more.
¥ Up to 150 Senior men and women attend daily classes
¥ Rosh Chodesh services see up to 60 men in shul
¥ Festival celebrations have to 400 attendees
¥ 100+ Jewish Learning Institute attendees per semester
¥ 100 people annually to visit Matzah Factory
Something filling falls under the banner of Chabad’s Hospitality Program, run under the management and guidance of Rabbi Haller. Something Filling provides hot meals and hospitality to those who are hungry or in need of care and comfort.
On a monthly basis, Something Filling provides the following meals to desperate individuals:
¥ 1000 meals per month served at Chabad House
¥ 480 Shabbos meals per month
Young Drivers are a group of individuals who’ve taken up the torch to help fund existing programs and initiate other innovations. We invite young entrepreneurs to become part of the exciting future of the Jewish community and South Africa and join their Drive for Good Change.
Each Young Driver is able to choose where their donations, of a monetary value or a donation of time, goes to. The following programs are funded by our Young Drivers:
¥ The Seniors Program
¥ The Distress Fund
¥ The Grow Your Life Project
The committed and prospective Young Drivers are treated to a series of events, used to target and inspire more of our young adults to be better parts of our community.
Each event is specifically created to encourage each individual to be as productive as they can be – while in the process of socializing and meeting other inspiration individuals.
A variety of camps for the youth of our Jewish community. These camps a made to stimulate, inspire, strengthen the body and soul, retreat and have fun!
The following camps run annually:
Camp for Challenged Children: This day camp runs in August and accommodates children with various learning and mental difficulties who are unable to partake in the regular Gan Yisrael Camp. This camp accommodates in excess of 80 children every August and provides these special needs children with the gift of experiencing the joys of camp. Children from various special needs schools such as Bella Vista and Crossroads attend this camp every year.
Heritage Program: An insightful learning program focused on the history of Judaism, 4000 children attend this program annually.
Gan Yisrael Day Camp in July: 675 children attend
Gan Yisrael 3 term day camp in August: 75 children attend
Gan Yisrael Day camp in December: 700 children attend
Gan Yisrael Overnight Camp in December: 70 children attend
Uvongo Campsite: Our Camp Site in Uvongo on the South Coast of Kwazulu Natal, is being revamped into a modern day campsite, giving us the perfect opportunity to introduce a new and improved overnight camp for teens in December and younger children in July. Some of our best childhood memories stem from our days at camp, and we strongly feel that a parent’s financial constraints should not be a reason for their children to be excluded from experiencing the joys of camp.