Hold that tiger!

March 5, 2014 by J-Wire Staff
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Sydney’s Jewish House is partnering the city’s Taronga Zoo which will host the annual sleep out raising awareness of the plight of 17,000 homeless Australians and generating funds to support the Bondi Jewish House refuge…as well as raising funds to protect the environment of Sumatran tigers.

 

Avremi Joseph, Sara and Anastasia from Emanuel School Sara Walhaus, Soshi Beger (Moriah). Rabbi Mendel Kastel, Sabrina Ulis, Evan Ding (Reddam House), Joseph Zammit (General Manager Jewish House)

Avremi Joseph, Sara and Anastasia from Emanuel School Sara Walhaus, Soshi Beger (Moriah). Rabbi Mendel Kastel, Sabrina Ulis, Evan Ding (Reddam House), Joseph Zammit (General Manager Jewish House)   photo: Henry Benjamin

Students from Moriah College, Reddam House and Emanuel School joined Rabbi Kastel at Taroga Zoo where they met Sumatran tigers  ‘Kembali’ his sister ‘Kartika’ and their mother ‘Jumilah’.

Jewish House is about ‘people helping people’ and this latest initiative- S.O.S- Students on the Streets, provides high school students from Years 8-12 the opportunity to experience what over 17,000 homeless Australians endure every night, sleeping rough. On 30 May, students from years 8-12, used to the luxury of a warm bed, a doona and even a teddy bear to cuddle will sleep in cardboard boxes, newspapers for blankets and dinner will be a basic meal of soup and bread.

This year, we have added a new dimension to the campaign, by focusing the concept of a shared planet, thus we are doing the sleep out in partnership with Taronga Zoo. The event will be held at the zoo on May 31st, which is very exciting to sleep out under the stars at the zoo. Buses will be provided from the school at certain hours for pick up and drop off. In addition we are proud to be fundraising for the homeless at Jewish House along with the Sumatran Tiger, whose habitats are being cut down and effectively making them “homeless”.

The goal of the project is to heighten the students’ awareness of the issues affecting homeless people and animals and to instil in them sensitivity towards the plight of the homeless, who share our planet. During the evening guest speakers will share their very touching stories of their firsthand experience with homelessness, along with Zoo keepers talking about how the actions of humans have destroyed the tigers’ habitats, effectively making them “homeless”. For most young people this will be the first time that they will encounter someone who has actually experienced what it is like to been deprived of basic human needs and understand how our actions can affect other including animals.

Rabbi Mendel Kastel

Rabbi Mendel Kastel   Photos: Henry Benjamin

The students will be sponsored by their peers, family and friends and the funds raised will go towards improving the facilities of the 24/7 crisis accommodation at Jewish House. Contrary to popular belief, homelessness can affect anyone and too often women and children, many coming from abusive situations, find themselves homeless. The funds raised by the students will go towards improving our ‘common room’ at Jewish House, providing much needed resources including computer and toys for the kids, enabling them to have access to things that most of us take for granted. An added dimension of the campaign will also fundraise for the Taronga Zoo Sumatran Tigers, enabling the zoo to continue its vital efforts of breeding the tigers increasing their dwindling numbers on the wild, every tiger breed is bring them further way from extinction.

This experience will not only educate young people about homelessness on our planet, but will also prove invaluable in ensuring our community remains compassionate and ready to help those in need regardless if human or animal. No-one should have to live on the street exposed to the elements or be poached based on their profit.

It is our hope that the students through their exposure to homelessness will appreciate the ideology of homelessness and that all homeless people want is the opportunity to turn their situation around and to live meaningful lives, which is our basic human right.

 

 

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