Photo Credit: Swim4Sadna

On Friday morning, nearly 450 women, aged 8 to 80, from throughout Israel – as well as a group from the USA and UK – will be participating in the 14th annual Kinneret swimathon to raise funds for Sadnat Shiluv, located in Gevaot in Gush Etzion. Women will choose either the 2 km or 4 km routes, ending in Park HaYarden, in this challenging – but non-competitive swim.

This year, the swimmers are raising funds to build and equip a Rehabilitation Daycare Center for youth and adults with special needs who do not currently have an accessible supportive framework that is appropriate to their needs. The Center will enrich the world of the residents and provide them with medical and para-medical therapies and services, such as speech, occupational and physiotherapy.

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Vivienne Glaser, mother of Elchi, who has been part of Sadnat Shiluv for 24 years, fulfilled a dream by initiating the Kinneret swimathon for women 15 years ago and continues to organize it each year.

“It was a very hard decision going ahead with the swim this year,” says Vivienne, “but the Sadna desperately needs to build this new daycare center, so, with all the limitations, it seemed the right thing to do. Many women were delighted to have this opportunity to channel their positive energy to do good for others. We view our swimmers as ambassadors who, in an amazing ripple effect, share with their family and friends all that Sadnat Shiluv has to offer.”

She added, “Some very courageous women who have faced unspeakable tragedy during the current war, are joining the swim this year, as well as a group of young women from Sadnat Shiluv, who are a source of inspiration for the other swimmers.”

Channy Leiter, mother of Maj. (Res.) Moshe Yedidiyah Leiter Hy”d, who fell in battle on November 10 in Gaza, has been participating in the swimathon for the past 12 years. “Actually, as a recent bereaved mother, I didn’t feel like doing it this year. But I knew it would be good for me. It’s a win-win event with wonderful vibes…it gives strength and energy to the participants and is obviously for a wonderful cause.”

Shira Schreier, swimming for the 13th year, noted, “The swim is an enjoyable, challenging and empowering experience. It is a really a privilege to help raise money for Sadnat Shiluv. I encourage everyone to visit there, especially the Beit Café (Café BaChursha), nestled in a breathtaking pine forest, where the delicious food is prepared and served by Sadnat Shiluv residents.”

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