Posted on : January 27, 2015 at - 6:22 pm by The Big Birthday Appeal

The Big B’Mitzvah Appeal, an off-shoot of the Big Birthday Appeal, will be fundraising in London for a ground-breaking children’s care home is set to open its doors shortly. Bayis Sheli (meaning “my home”) has been created to act as a ‘home away from home’ for disabled Jewish children from around the UK and from all sections of the community.

Catering for all ages up to the age of 25, Bayis Sheli will provide both short and long term residential services for up to 24 children and young people with special educational needs.  In addition, Bayis Sheli will offer an outreach and drop-in service, allowing all children and young people with disabilities from the wider public to access its many facilities and activities.

Based in Hackney in North London, the four-storey building houses state-of-the-art facilities, including a hydrotherapy pool, soft room, sensory room, biking club, music room, petting corner and IT suite.  The centre will enable disabled children and their families to gain vital respite care, allowing the children to enjoy an environment that is as close to the feel of their own home as possible.

Currently, there are very limited services available in the UK for children and young people with disabilities. Bayis Sheli has had a high number of enquiries and visits from families living in Manchester who are interested both in residential and short term respite. The home currently has three potential long-term residents from Manchester and seven on the list for respite.

The Big B’Mitzvah appeal encourages Bar and Bat Mitzvah children to donate a little of the money they receive for their simcha to help Jewish children with special needs.

All of the money raised in London from the Big B’Mitzvah Appeal will go to Bayis Sheli to fund a sensory garden. This will include interactive sensory play equipment and will provide children and young people with opportunities to use their imagination and get involved in exploratory play in an environment that encourages their emotional, physical and intellectual development.

Friends and family of the children can also raise money for the charity by buying the specially created Bar and Bat Mitzvah cards, available online. These are priced at £2.50 each, with all proceeds going to the Appeal.

Leah Stern, who founded Bayis Sheli, said: “There are currently over 300 Jewish children in the UK with severe disabilities who require highly specialised care, both physically and medically. Many of these children do not benefit from any type of break and their families have no respite from the huge demands placed on them. Every detail of Bayis Sheli has been painstakingly developed to provide a solution to these needs and we look forward to welcoming children from right across the community through its doors.”

Leah added: “I’m delighted that the Big B’Mitzvah Appeal has chosen Bayis Sheli to support and very touched that Bar and Bat Mitzvah children are so eager and willing to bring smiles and sunshine to the lives of disabled children.  I hope to welcome them on site in the near future, so that they may have the opportunity to spend time with those disabled children to whom they mean so much.”

The Big B’Mitzvah Appeal is part of the Big Birthday Appeal. Launched in Manchester in 2001 by Suzy Glaskie and Judith Moryoussef, Big Birthday aims to inspire and empower children to give charity and help others, in a bid to encourage a future generation of philanthropists.  Its committee of Manchester Jewish mums has created an innovative range of celebration-related products, including gift stickers, greetings cards for all occasions and gift wrap.  These are available to buy at

To date, the team has raised over £150,000 which has gone, via Jewish Child’s Day, to fund a range of projects around the UK. These have included: an annual respite holiday in Wales for Jewish children with special needs; a state-of-the-art sensory room at The Fed’s Children’s Centre in Manchester; wheelchairs for disabled children in Israel to allow them to engage in sport; and balloons delivered to seriously ill children in hospital via Camp Simcha.

For more details on the Big B’Mitzvah Appeal or to buy any of the products, visit


Posted in : The Big B'Mitzvah Appeal, The Big Birthday Appeal