Tragedy hits Shuvu Family – Children Miraculously Saved

Sometimes, even as we are overwhelmed with grief over a terrible tragedy, we can still find inspiration and consolation.
Gavriel and Tehilla are students in Shuvu’s school in Lod; he is an 8th grader, she is in 4th grade. They’ve each been in the school since 1st grade, and although their family was completely secular, the youngsters have made great strides in Shemiras Torah and Mitzvos.
Gavriel and Tehilla’s parents divorced years ago and the father had full custody of the children; their biological mother is not at all part of their lives.
The parents eventually remarried, and his new wife loved Gavriel and Tehilla dearly, raising them as her own children. Five years ago, the family grew, as Gavriel and Tehilla’s father and stepmother had a daughter together.
Tragically, this past Shabbos, their parents and their 5 year old daughter were in their car when they were involved in a head-on collision with another vehicle. The parents were killed instantly, and their young daughter died of her injuries several hours later. Gavriel and Tehilla, however, refused to go in the car for that fateful trip.
Recently, Shuvu Lod, has been focusing on promoting Shemiras Shabbos through special campaigns and projects, and Gavriel and Tehilla had taken upon themselves to never again set foot in a car on Shabbos.
Although they horrifically lost their father, stepmother, and sister, their own lives were spared through their determination to observe Shabbos.
Shuvu has brought in professionals to work with Gavriel and Tehilla as well as their classmates. They are also working to ensure that the children will be cared for and raised in an appropriate, loving environment.
Even as we mourn this tragedy we cannot help but be but be stirred by the result of the resolve of two young children to observe Shabbos.
May Hashem comfort these young heroes b’soch sh’ar aveilei Tzion v’Yerushalayim, and may they know no more tzaar.

Shuvu in the Jewish Chronicle

This summer Shuvu was pleased to play host to Sandy Rashty, Young Journalist of the Year.  Rabbi Chaim Michoel Guttermann, Director of Shuvu and David Blachman, Chairman of British Friends of Shuvu spent time with Sandy in Israel, visiting schools and talking with teachers, pupils and parents.  The attached editorial appeared in The JC as a feature on Shuvu.

Click the link below for the press release

Update on Timothy Sanikov who performed at the British Friends dinner

Timothy just graduated 6th grade in Shuvu Bat Yam. Despite his young age, he is already an acclaimed singer and has travelled worldwide to sing in concerts, including the British Friends of Shuvu Gala Dinner, and compete in competitions.


At his class’ recent Chumash Siyum the teacher bought pizza for the students. Timothy didn’t realize that they’d be having pizza and earlier that day ate a salami sandwich. When the teacher later gave out the pizza, Timothy told her that he didn’t want any. But what boy doesn’t want pizza? She asked him why he didn’t want any, to which he admitted that he was fleishigs. Upon hearing this, the entire class stood up and clapped in his honour! Although Timothy is very used to receiving applause after his performances, he said later that that clapping was the most meaningful he ever experienced!


At their graduation ceremony, a well-known singer Yoni Elitzur was playing the guitar and singing. Timothy got up and asked if he could join him, and suggested they together sing his favourite song – “Baruch Elokeinu Shebra’anu Lichvodo, Vehivdilanu min Hato’im!” The whole class rose together and joined them dancing and singing these meaningful words. Timothy’s mother later said “Toda Raba, you gave me back my son. Until he enrolled in Shuvu he was a big shot with no Derech Eretz and no respect for his parents. He insisted on having very long hair. Now he respects us and is a true Mensch – and he even cut his hair short!”

Shuvu’s Historic Global Fundraising Initiative

In the largest and fastest fundraising campaign in its 25 year history, Shuvu raised $1,702,712 in 24 hours last week. All donations were quadrupled, as three major donors agreed to match every dollar raised between 4pm BST on Monday 22 June and 4pm BST on Tuesday 23 June. But there was a catch! It was all or nothing, so if Shuvu hadn’t reached the original target of $1.6 million by Tuesday 4 pm BST, every donation would have to be returned.

The campaign known as ‘24 hours for Shuvu’ was run through the New York based Charidy organization, which has accrued much experience in these fast-paced fundraising activities. The Shuvu campaign was their largest to date, and left its managers in awe, seeing the vast popularity of the Shuvu network and its staunch support worldwide.

Shuvu’s campaign was indeed an international effort as operations rooms with computers, telephones and of course buffets of food were set up in four cities around the globe: Jerusalem, New York, London and Johannesburg. In each of these locations, dozens of volunteers and visitors worked around the clock calling and emailing relatives, friends and acquaintances, explaining Shuvu’s needs and asking for donations.

The Pillar Hotel in Hendon became the British Friends of Shuvu operations room, and with many friends and volunteers visiting throughout the 24 hours, it became a hub of activity, with many special guests arriving and giving their support including Dayan Y Abraham.

And when, after 23 hours, the target of $1.6 million was reached, the operations rooms across the globe erupted with excitement and jubilation. The campaign wasn’t at an end though, and so a bonus round was announced with the new goal of $1.7 million. A few minutes before the deadline of 4pm BST, we were delighted to see that not only had we reached the new target but surpassed it and euphoria spread through the various operations rooms across the globe.

And the true internationalism doesn’t end there, after looking at the donations we can see that donations for Shuvu came from not just Israel, America, South Africa and Great Britain, but also from many other countries including Belgium, Brazil, Canada and Switzerland.

Shuvu has had some very difficult years, with major budget cuts, and this campaign was part of the effort to pay off those overdue liabilities and secure continuity in our expansion efforts. More than ONE THOUSAND new students are expected to join the Shuvu network for the upcoming school year. The success of this campaign ensures that these children will be taken into Shuvu with open arms. New classrooms can now be fully equipped with computers and all other classroom essentials, ensuring that the new students will receive the excellent Jewish and secular education that Shuvu is famous for.

Shuvu’s Director ,Rabbi Chaim Michoel Guttermann could not hide his excitement after the great success, and commented that many donors have already approached him and the other Shuvu offices in the various countries, marveling over the success of this campaign, and requesting that the network run yet another mega-campaign next year, and for even greater sums.

LtoR Anthony Moshal, Danny Blum, Gavriel Green, Yomi Cohen and Dayan Y Abraham


Photo shows the London operations room L-R: Anthony Moshal, Danny Blum, Gavriel Green, Yomi Cohen and Dayan Y Abraham.

Shuvu Bar and Bat Mitzvah

Here at Shuvu, we are getting really excited as two of our favourite events are coming up.  Anyone who has ever experienced a Shuvu Bar or Bat Mitzvah can attest to their being extremely inspirational. As you know, many of our students come from secular homes, and so the importance and meaning of celebrating these milestones is sometimes lost. Shuvu fills this void! As Moreinu Harav Pam zt”l used to say, “How can we celebrate Bar Mitzvahs and Bat Mitzvahs for our children, if we don’t also tend to the celebration of these children’s Smachos?”


We would like to invite all our friends and supporters, who may be in Israel at this time to attend.

All the details are outlined below and further information can be found on the invitations (Click on the images to enlarge them):

Bar Mitzvah 2015      Bat Mitzvah 2015


  • Sunday, May 17th will see 350 Shuvu girls become Bat Mitzvah in Bnei Brak, for the convenience of our guests, we will be arranging a bus to the event from Jerusalem, leaving at 9:30 am. The bus will leave Bnei Brak at 1:30, following the Seudas Mitzvah.  We encourage any female family members you have in Eretz Yisroel to please join this event! Come be inspired and Shep Nachas seeing hundreds of Shuvu Talmidos being Mekabel Ol Malchus Shomayim! In order to guarantee a seat on the bus, please contact Shuvu to sign up.


  • The Shuvu Bar Mitzvah of 180 boys will take place the following Thursday, May 21st, in Jerusalem.


So, if you plan to be in town for Shavuot, we would be honoured if you would join us for these exciting events!


We look forward to greeting you!

Pesach Newsletter


Shuvu Gala Dinner Video

Watch highlights from the recent British Friends of Shuvu Gala dinner


Shuvu in the News

Please find  below recent press coverage of Shuvu from the recent Gala dinner.

Hamodia 22 January

Jewish News 29 Jan

Jewish Tribune 22 January

The JC 23 Jan 2015

Shuvu UK Gala Dinner

 Shuvu Dinner




British Friends of Shuvu hosted its first fundraising Gala Dinner at the London Marriott Grosvenor Square, on Sunday 18th January 2015.  Over 350 men and women from across the London community came together to celebrate the incredible achievements of Shuvu and to support Shuvu’s ambitious growth plans for the future.  The guests were joined by participants from Manchester, the United States, Denmark and Israel.


The event was an opportunity to discover more about Shuvu’s network of 69 kindergartens, elementary and high schools throughout Israel.  The guests learnt about how Shuvu currently offers over 6,000 students from all backgrounds an outstanding education, equipping them with the skills and knowledge to become independent, successful and productive members of Israeli society.  Shuvu’s students come primarily from underprivileged, immigrant families, primarily from the former Soviet Union but now also from France and the US.  Shuvu provides a secular education at the highest level combined with education in strong Jewish values.  Although Shuvu is an intrinsic part of the Israeli state school system and receives a significant proportion of its funding from the Government, Shuvu schools provide so much more in the form of afternoon schooling, hot lunches, busses to school and a support network to the family of each pupil.  The extra-curricular activities and Shuvu’s extensive outreach programs, Jewish studies staff and shabbatons require significant independent funding.  The Gala Dinner was held to raise funds to enable this vital work to continue and expand.


The theme for the evening, generously hosted by Philip & Suzy Goldberg together with Nechemya & Ruchi Sheinfeld, was ‘Turning Dreams into Reality’.

Guest Speaker, Rabbi Bleich, Chief Rabbi of Ukraine and Kiev

Guest Speaker, Rabbi Bleich, Chief Rabbi of Ukraine and Kiev



Rabbi Yaakov Dov Bleich, Chief Rabbi of Kiev and Ukraine, Vice President of the World Jewish Congress addressed the audience with a rousing speech and described the work he has undertaken in the Ukraine since arriving almost 30 years ago.  He described how in a country with over 1.5m Jews, when he arrived, barely a minyan could be put together.  In light of recent political events in the Region, Shuvu schools in Israel are essential to provide Jewish education for the those who are able to make aliya.



Dayan Chanoch Ehrentreu, who has been a driving force behind British Friends of Shuvu and whose guidance and counsel have led Shuvu to great achievements, received the Shuvu Leadership Award.  By way of thanks, a wing at the Shuvu School in Nazareth Iliit is now dedicated in his honour.


Dinner Chairman, Aryeh Melinek presents the guest of honour Dayan Abraham with a certificate of sponsorship of a Shuvu Student

Dinner Chairman, Aryeh Melinek presents the guest of honour Dayan Abraham with a certificate of sponsorship of a Shuvu Student

Dayan Yonason Abraham, a great supporter of Shuvu, who led the UK Mission to Israel in February 2014 with such passion and greatly inspired all the participants, was the Guest of Honour.  Dayan Abraham delivered an impassioned plea urging the assembled guests to regard the children in the Shuvu schools as their own and to take responsibility for ensuring the schools can expand and thereby change the face of Israel.  Dayan Abrahams received a certificate of sponsorship of a high school student in recognition of his dedication to Shuvu.


11 year old Timoti Sannikov entertains Shuvu Dinner 2015

11 year old Timoti Sannikov entertains Shuvu Dinner 2015


Guests were entertained with Hebrew and Yiddish songs sung by Year 7 Shuvu Bat Yam Pupil, Timoti Sannikov, who’s family are originally from Moscow.  At just 11 years old, Timoti has already been a contestant on ‘The Voice’ in Russia and competed in musical shows and competitions all over Israel.

The Shuvu Leadership Award presented to Dayan Ehrentreu LEFT TO RIGHT David Blachman, Dayan Ehrentreu, Rabbi Chaim Mikael Guttermann, Aryeh Melinek, Dayan Abraham

The Shuvu Leadership Award presented to Dayan Ehrentreu LEFT TO RIGHT David Blachman, Dayan Ehrentreu, Rabbi Chaim Mikael Guttermann, Aryeh Melinek, Dayan Abraham



During the evening, British Friends of Shuvu Chairman, David Blachman said that he was astounded by the support shown to Shuvu and thanked the attendees for their generous contributions.



David Blachman Welcomes Guests Shuvu Dinner 2015

David Blachman Welcomes Guests Shuvu Dinner 2015



There is still more to be done though as Shuvu’s network of schools and welfare programmes are falling half a million pounds short of their annual budget.  Donations can be made through the website at or by contacting the Shuvu office  17 Golders Court, Woodstock Road, London, NW11 8QG T) 020 8209 3010

Menorah Grammar School Pupils Generously Donate Tefillin to Shuvu Akko Pupils



Menorah Grammar School Pupils Generously Donate Tefillin to Shuvu Akko Pupils


Dayan Abraham and David Blachman attended the End of Term Siyum at Menorah Grammar School in London and were presented with two sets of tefillin for boys at Shuvu schools in Israel.  Many of Shuvu’s families do not have the means to purchase tefillin for their sons when they become Bar Mitzvah.  Instead, each day these boys must borrow from the school or share other people’s tefillin in order to daven.  The Menorah year 8 pupils saved their Bar Mitzvah presents, tzedakah and pocket money to buy them.  The grateful recipients, Daniel Padirko and Refael Davidian of Shuvu Akko School, wrote personal thank you letters to the boys, expressing their joy at receiving their very own pair of Tefillin that they will continue to use every day!

Avi Shapiro  presenting tefillin to Dayan Abraham and David Blachman from Shuvu

Avi Shapiro, the first boy to be Bar Mitzvah in the year represented the class and presented the tefillin to Dayan Abraham and David Blachman from Shuvu.  (See picture left)


Rabbi Dovid Sulzbacher, principal of Menorah Grammar School, explained that the boys understand that they are indeed very privileged and wanted to share their good fortune with disadvantaged boys, who otherwise would not have the opportunity to have their own tefillin.


Dayan Abraham was the inspirational guest speaker, he spoke about symbolism of the Menorah, explaining to the boys that the branches of it join together representing the achdus of the Jewish People and the true friendship of the pupils, twinning with those less fortunate at Shuvu Akko, especially at this difficult time for those in Israel.


British Friends of Shuvu Chairman, David Blachman, presented framed letters of thanks to the school from Daniel and Refael, which will be hanging in pride of place in the school when the pupils return to start the new term in September.  Mr Blachman told the boys about Shuvu, as it strives to provide nurturing surroundings for underprivileged children and instil Jewish pride in all its students from diverse backgrounds.  He also stressed the immense importance of the wonderful mitzvah of tefillin and the special significance that the boys’ gifts would have for the beneficiaries in Israel.


Menorah Grammar School Year 8 Boys, Dayan Abraham and David Blachman 2

The photograph (above) shows Year 8 Pupils at Menorah Grammar School, Dayan Abraham and David Blachman with the framed thank you letters.


Daniel Padirko  Refael Davidian (2)


(Above left) Refael Davidian, who lives in Kiryat Motzkin parents are from Russia and (above right) Daniel Padirko, who has studied at Shuvu since 1st grade.  They were the recipients of tefillin generously donated by the boys of year 8 at Menorah Grammar School.





Lisa Fox, British Friends of Shuvu

17 Golders Court, Woodstock Road, London, NW11 8QG

020 8209 3010

Registered Charity Number: 1100984