The Children of the Home and Netanya's Own Children Raised Side By Side

According to History …

It all started in 1958 when Alfonso & Gladis Sabbah made Aliyah to Israel from Tangier, Morocco. They settled in the Pardes Ha-Gdud neighborhood in Netanya. This is where they first met the abandoned children who lived at the religious institution "Sinai" which was very close by. The term "Children at Risk" did not exist in those days. The children, who lived in three houses, were referred to as "Discarded and Neglected children". The institution was directed by an old man named-Sinai, of course. Alfonso and Gladis Sabah just took a small look around the home, but were enchanted with the children who were so hopeless, yet so very hopeful, and who so needed their help. Therefore, Alfonso Sabah founded a special trust for the benefit of the children, its purpose was to buy the houses they resided in, or build new ones in their stead. The Sabah family also built a local synagogue nearby, and received a special Rabbinical Permit allowing the children to partake in musical and educational activities. The bond between the Sabah family and the children only grew stronger, over the time. The Sabah couple looked after them, making sure they were well and happy, always, even celebrating their birthdays and giving them gifts. Every day the children could be seen entering the Sabah house freely and happily. After the attempt to purchase the houses was unsuccessful, the Netanya Municipality began recognizing the Sabah family and "their” children as an established home for distressed children, and the graciously allocated land for them for the purpose of building their own place to house their children. The Home was built in the mid 60´s, and many relatives and friends of the Sabah family took part in the building process, and much thought, effort, time, and resources were invested in its planning. 

We´ve heard of the great actions of the loving Sabahs, Sinais, and Kuglers, why is the home named after Elazraki?

A number of years after building the new Home, a distant relative arrived from England together with his wife to visit Israel. They stayed with the Sabahs. This man, was originally from Tangier, his name, Victor Elazraki. He had no special connection to Israel or Zionism, but during that visit things changed for him, or the better. While walking through the neighborhood, the Elazraki couple entered the Children´s Home and was greatly moved. Then, shortly after returning to England, Mr. Elazraki passed away. His widow contacted the Sabah family and informed them that her husband, of blessed memory, who had been so deeply impressed by the Children´s Home, had decided to endow a great part of his inheritance to the children.

The Sabah family accepted the donation, and as an act of gratitude, they named the Children´s Home after Mr. Victor Elazraki, may he rest in peace. 
During those years, two very special people became involved in the work being done at the home: a unique individual named Eliezer Kugler, and his wife Rachel. Mr. Kugler assisted with the management of Sinai until Mr. Sinai´s passing. In those three houses in Pardes HaGdud, only thirty children remained. This was their only home, and the Kuglers soon became their loving parents.

The Sabah family took upon themselves the responsibility of raising and nurturing the children. They were overshadowed by the constant fear that the children would be left without a roof over their heads, because the houses they lived in belonged to Jews who lived at Belgium, who could demand them back at any given moment.

An apartment was built in the new building for the Director and his wife. When the building was complete and the Home officially established, Sinai´s children were taken in along with a large number of new children, and it was around that time, that the Sabah family signed a contract with "The Women´s Religious-National Movement", today known as "Emunah", who took the Home under its patronage. The Sabah family insisted, of course, that Mr. Kugler and his wife would stay and continue their management of the Home with their endless love and dedication.

In 1976, the Children´s Home was registered as an independent non-profit organization. With time, more and more children were taken in, located and referred to the home by the Welfare Services and Israeli courts of law. In 1990, Eliezer and Rachel Kugler transferred the leadership to the capable hands of Mr. Yehuda Kohn, who now runs the Home together with his wife Riki, to this very day. Rachel and Eliezer Kugler have since passed away, but the essence of their great life´s work still lingers in the home and in the hearts of the children they cared for.