Mothers of Molested Children Creating Nachlaot Mural of Healing and Hope

Mothers of Molested Children Creating Nachlaot Mural of Healing and Hope

When they heard about the Nachlaot pedophile ring that over the past 5 years molested and raped over 120 neighborhood children, Nachlaot art teacher Sara Mannheim and Rebbetzin Leah Glazer were shocked and horrified. But instead of being paralyzed by this catastrophe that struck so very close to home, these Jewish mothers (who, by the way, are also two of my long-time personal heroes) decided that they wanted to take a positive step to assist the many struggling neighborhood mothers of molested children.

This is what Sara Mannheim told me this morning about the Nachlaot Mural of Healing and Hope Project:

“This past Elul, Leah and I met for a few hours and decided to start a therapeutic community art project that the mothers of molested children could work on together in order to express themselves and everything they are experiencing.

“In cases of sexual abuse, mothers sometimes suffer even more than their children, since very young children are often unable to understand what even happened to them. And the mothers are left bearing this terrible burden of the horrific atrocity committed against their own beloved, innocent children. For many of the mothers involved, the suffering they are experiencing makes it difficult for them to get though the day. So we chose to paint together on Sunday nights, so that these mothers can start their week on the right foot, on a positive, hopeful note.

“Every Sunday evening at 9 PM, small groups of these mothers come together to work on this large mural. Sometimes, while they paint, these mothers use these meetings to discuss what their families are going through. Sometimes they work so silently that you could hear a bee buzzing outside. But I think that whether they talk or not, this project is therapeutic, since it enables these mothers to get our all their emotions, the positive ones and the negative ones.

“Among the molested children, there are several who continue functioning 100% normally in school. And the truth is that could be the sign of a problem, that these abused children are holding everything that happened to them tightly inside. For people to heal from a trauma like this, they need to have some way to express their feelings. The children, who are all in therapy, as well as the parents.

“The mural we are painting depicts the bikkurim, the first fruits that the Kohanim offered in the Beit Hamikdash, since our children are our first fruits. In this neighborhood, we are raising our children to serve Hashem and to love his Torah and mitzvoth. In other words, our beloved children are the beautiful bikkurim that we are laboring over in order to offer them to Hashem, since they are the most precious gift we could possible offer Him.

“In the background, the mothers are painting Jerusalem, which represents to us that despite the churban we have experienced here, in our hearts we are yearning and hoping for the redemption, IY”H.”

Here is a video of the Nachlaot Mural of Healing and Hope
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Image courtesy of flickr.com user Hannes a. Schwetz

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One comment

  1. This is a fantastic thing to do, Hashem should send healing to everyone involved. Where will the mural be?

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