The Ma’ayan Rivka Golden Age “Restaurant”
Ma’ayan Rivka was originally started to provide meals for some Holocaust survivors in Petach Tikvah. When the founder, Rivka Schwimmer, knew that she was dying of cancer, she asked her friends – all Emunah volunteers – to make sure that “her” people would be taken care of.
The friends organized the original restaurant as a non-profit organization, which opened on the day Rivka died. The “restaurant” charges a token fee for the meals they serve, so that the patrons retain their dignity and don’t feel they are accepting charity. Perhaps one of the most important benefits of the restaurant in addition to the delicious and nutritious food it provides, is the socialization and company that the volunteers give the seniors. Many of the elderly patrons live alone and this is their only form of socialization. It is a source of nourishment for both the body and the soul.
The patrons come from all spectrums of Israeli society. One of the regulars, an 82 year old woman, recently widowed, was too emotionally distraught to leave her home and often remained hungry. She was introduced to Ma’ayan Rivka and has since started making friends and is eating healthy meals.
In 2008 Ma’ayan Rivka opened in a new location and the opening was attended by the Mayor and Chief Rabbi of Petach Tikvah, a Member of the Knesset, and Liora Minka, Chairwoman of Emunah Israel.
In addition to the Golden Age Restaurant, Emunah runs senior groups with activities and trips in order to provide seniors with healthy companionship. Counseling centers offer services which are tailored for senior citizens.