“Menucha listened to my concerns and was there for me when I needed clarity and help with my children.” This was a comment made by a Toronto community member, after availing himself of the services of Menucha, the Toronto organization that provides single parents with school-age children with resources, services and support for continued success.
Menucha was officially launched in October 2017, as an outgrowth of Hadracha, an organization whose goal is to improve the quality of life for the Toronto community by creating a self-sufficient environment where families can be financially independent. This is achieved through services it provides like career guidance, business mentoring, business coaching and personal financial services.
Mrs. Sheri Kravetsky, MSW, RSW, intake and family care specialist at Menucha, explains, “Menucha originally began under the umbrella of Hadracha. Many of the people who were seeking guidance from Hadracha, were in fact single parents, and Hadracha realized that they needed much more than employment skills. Together with Mrs. Bracha Silver, case manager, we were brought on board to further develop the services offered by Menucha. Our client numbers have increased, representing the spectrum of the Toronto community.”
Some of the services offered by Menucha are business and employment guidance, personal guidance, therapy, medical assistance, legal assistance, personal budgeting, and debt management.
Menucha also offers extensive family-support services including their newly launched initiatives. The After-School Volunteer Program sends volunteers to help the children with their homework and assist parents with evening and bedtime routines. The Big Brother/Big Sister Program pairs children with a big brother or big sister, who may take the child out for bi-monthly meetings and fun outings, or study with the child to review class work.
The Shabbos and Yom Tov Volunteer program arranges for volunteers to walk a child to shul and even sit together with the child while in shul; to come to the home on Shabbos afternoon to offer respite while the parent takes a nap; or to accompany a child to an Avos Ubanim program.
Menucha also offers advocacy, recommends resources, and makes referrals within the Jewish community and within government agencies, where the parent can find various forms of assistance, such as financial aid or guidance with health issues.
Mrs. Silver remarked, “Clients even call me after hours as well with all kinds of issues! They feel personally cared for and supported and hopeful for the future!”
In addition to these services, the organization will do its utmost to assist in other areas as needed. “We give each family the opportunity to address their concerns,” says Mrs. Kravetsky. “Each family has unique circumstances, and we attempt to assist them all. We encourage inner strength and self-esteem, promote functionality, and help them accomplish their goals to set them on their feet.
“We may refer them to a lawyer with expertise for their situation or help them find a volunteer to review Gemara with their son. We are always looking for new and innovative ways to support our clients to be the best parents they can be.”
Recently, Menucha helped make possible the participation of several of its clients in a weekend retreat organized by Sister to Sister, a New York-based organization that provides support, assistance, and social outlets for single mothers.
Menucha has been successful in helping many families in numerous ways. “We have tremendous hakaras hatov to the many people who make Menucha possible, including our local Rabbanim, community partners, and the organization’s administrators and donors,” insists Mrs. Kravetsky. “It is due to their commitment that Menucha has been able to achieve its current goals.”
After hearing what Menucha is about, a community member, who is not a client of Menucha, expressed, “Kol hakavod to you! We did not realize how vital your organization is to our community.”
For more information on Menucha, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 416-839-2500 ext. 3.