Never Lose Hope

Elena Noble, MPT | June 2013

The Keren Malki Foundation in Israel

In 1997 Malki Roth wrote an article for Exceptional Parent magazine about caring for her two-year old sister, Haya Elisheva, who had severe mental and physical disabilities. The article was called “Never Lose Hope!” Four short years later, 15 year old Malki was killed in a senseless and tragic suicide bombing at the Sbarro restaurant in Jerusalem, Israel. Despite the grief and devastation caused by this event, Malki’s joy in caring for people with disabilities inspired her parents and family to improve the lives of children with disabilities.

In memory of their daughter, Arnold and Frimet Roth formed the Keren Malki Foundation with headquarters in Jerusalem. The underlying principle of the foundation is “no place is better for a child with special needs than that child’s own home.” For 13 years Keren Malki has been supporting these families by funding essential therapy services, loaning adaptive equipment, and providing ongoing encouragement. The foundation is not-for-profit and supports its missions through donations and fundraising events.

In the Rifton factory, a Rifton worker shows representatives from the Keren Malki Foundation the features of the Activity Chair.Rifton was privileged to meet Arnold Roth and Executive Director Debbie Fishman from the Keren Malki Foundation when they visited our facility last week. These representatives toured our factory and received training on our newest equipment, the Rifton Activity chair and the TRAM, so they could better service the growing number of families the organization supports throughout Israel.

As folklorist Walter Anderson once said, “Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have – life itself.” This is precisely what the Roth family has done, and we are inspired by the work of Keren Malki.

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