Simchat HaChagim is a collaborative project between The Chai-Tikvah Foundation, a registered non-profit agency providing supportive housing and programming for the mentally ill within our Jewish community, and Spark of Brilliance, a community-based mental health initiative that promotes healing through creative arts workshops. This project proposes to provide a festive and creative venue for those suffering loneliness and the stigmatization of mental illness, to come and celebrate the Jewish Holidays in a warm, kind and safe environment. Celebrations will include the food and traditions of each holiday, and will spotlight the individual gifts and talents of those attending the celebration. Creative arts like storytelling, music, painting, and photography will serve to help promote Jewish heritage. Rosh haShanah, Sukkot, Hanukkah, Tu B’Shvat, Purim, Pesach, Shavuot, and Tisha B’Av will be celebrated throughout the calendar year. The artistry coming out of these celebrations can also be hung in local galleries, put into books, etc., thus helping to bring mental illness out of the shadows, and highlight the contribution those suffering can, and are, making to their respective communities.
Dani Dairy Delights is a catering business venture with social relevance. It is a recent and essential component of D.A.N.I.’s (developing and nurturing independence of our young adults withspecial needs) day program. Menus are emailed to offices, schools, synagogues and individuals and requests are returned by the deadline. Under the guidance of a professional chef and staff, our young adults with challenges prepare and organize lunches. Orders are delivered and payment is collected by the young adults themselves. The money raised is placed in their own business account and the young adults, as partners, pay themselves a nominal salary from the profits. It is an incredibly encouraging and confidence building proposal that benefits the adults and the Jewish community. They practise kitchen, daily living and social skills that promote transition to independence in addition to financial values and planning.
It is a simple operation in our currently rented home that has been financially successful. However, due to increasing demands, we are moving to a much needed larger location. The funds offered by JVPF would help finance our professional kitchen and make it accessible to all of the participants. The strategic business expertise would help grow the business to the next level. The accumulated profit would then be used to help finance the D.A.N.I. program.