Welcome to the Neve Hanna Yeladudes Bakery

The Yeladudes Bakery. Photo: Meira Gurai Raz
The Yeladudes Bakery. Photo: Meira Gurai Raz

In 2006, the idea to establish the Yeladudes Bakery came after Director Dudu Weger and Founder Hanni Ullman z“l of the Neve Hanna Children’s Home, visited the Hershey Company in Hershey, Pennsylvania. They were inspired by how Milton Hershey had founded an industrial school for orphans at the beginning of the 20th century, thus enabling the children to work in the factory.

The Yeladudes Bakery. Photo: Meira Gurai Raz

When Dudu and Hanni returned to the Neve Hanna Children’s Home, they came up with the idea of creating an in-house bakery. Founded as an educational project with self-supportive aspects, the Yeladudes Bakery is an integral part of daily life of the children’s home. Bread is an important primary basic food and it is used in religious rituals such as Kiddush. With the assistance of a renowned Swiss baker, recipes were created and adjusted to Israeli taste. Al HaShulchan, a highly rated gourmet magazine, rated Yeladudes Bakery one the top three bakeries in Israel. Recipes are healthy, made with whole wheat flour and are sugar free. Cookies and cakes are also baked.

The Yeladudes Bakery. Photo: Meira Gurai Raz

The Yeladudes Bakery offers the children the chance of a glimpse into the adult world of productivity, but also to learn basic professional as well as social and leadership skills.  At the bakery, children can explore their hidden talents and experience success.  Not only is their self-esteem boosted, but they also learn more about personal and social responsibility, as well as the relevance of self-sufficiency and productivity.  At the same time, they are exposed to professional aspects of baking bread and running a business; from preparing dough to the baking process as well as work routine, time management and marketing. The Neve Hanna teens can find jobs in the bakery after they finish their morning classes. They enjoy the work and the ability to earn and save some money. They get positive reinforcement, discover hidden talents and capabilities and live through positive experiences based on their personal achievements, all leading to a boosted self image.

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted daily business at the Yeladudes Bakery. The fallout from the pandemic inspired a mini-series, produced by Menachem and Tehiya Horowitz. Menachem is known for his love of food. The Neve Hanna interview aired prime time on July 15, 2020 on Israeli Channel 12.

To view the video, go to www.afnevehanna.org/yeladudes-bakery. The interview is in Hebrew, but we suggest that even if you don’t know the language, watch the 5 minute video to experience the feel of the interview and see the beautiful renovated bakery and the delicious baked goods. The interview begins with three Neve Hanna teenagers, making a short statement about the bakery presenting the current problem – no customers can come to Neve Hanna to buy their many products and deliveries are not possible. The teenagers wanted Menachem and his wife to come to Neve Hanna to help change this dire situation. Below is the synopsis of the interview.

One teenager explains that they go to school in the morning and can work afternoons in the bakery. The bakery produces healthy products. Menachem and Tehiya talk about the educational value of the children’s work in the bakery and bestow many compliments to the teenager.

Dudu Weger, Director of Neve Hanna points out that the invitation to the children´s home, extended to Menachem and Tehiya, was initiated by a teenager. They proceed to the bakery, where Dudu tells them that the Yeladudes bakery now has an internet site. Presently, orders can only be shipped to southern Israel. He continues talking about EL AL Airlines purchases of cookies for business and first-class flights. Unfortunately, El Al has a mandatory furlough extended to the end of August.

Menachem concludes: “We will not allow this special bakery to close or suffer loss.”

Also in the video is Dudi Danino, Bakery Director, Meir Imbar, Deputy Director of Osem Nestle, shown buying delicious bakery goods. Osem is one of the largest food producing companies of Israel with a decade long tradition. Inbar makes it known that Osem will buy NIS 30,000 (approximately $8,775) worth of bakery goods from Yeladudes to donate to families in need in southern Israel.

Meir Imbar advises that the Yeladudes Bakery will be helped with technical assistance from Bonjour, a firm also in the bakery business, to help Neve Hanna with marketing and other questions. Osem Nestle will continue to assist Yeladudes as well. This will be a special additional learning experience for the teens that work in the bakery.

Towards the end of the visit, Menachem comments that he has been in Neve Hanna for 3 hours and has not sampled any of the products. Tehiya comforts him saying that she purchased many delicious goodies and they are waiting for him in the car.

Yeladudes Bakery Store. Photo: Meira Gurai Raz

The Yeladudes Bakery offers specialty breads, cakes, cookies and crackers. They also offer Lachish olive oil, green olive spread, artichoke and pesto spread and other special dips. Yeladudes do gift baskets for every special occasion and create delicious memories at special events. (Sorry, orders are only presently available for purchase in Israel). Tell your family and friends about the Yeladudes Bakery. Visit their on-line store at www.yeladudesbakery.co.il 

Go to www.afnevehanna.org to learn more about the children, programs and projects. Neve Hanna Children’s Home is changing children’s lives.

About the Author
Lisa Pollack is Director of Business Development and Social Media Marketing for American Friends of Neve Hanna, a non-profit organization for the Neve Hanna Children's Home in Kiryat Gat, Israel. Neve Hanna provides a warm and loving home for children from disadvantaged families. With its successful therapeutic programs and projects, Neve Hanna Children’s Home strives to meet all the physical, emotional, mental and educational needs of its children. Lisa is the former synagogue newsletter Copy Editor and Publicity Associate for Congregation L'Dor V'Dor, Little Neck, New York. Lisa has organizational relationships and ties with Masorti, Aepi, StandWithUs, MERCAZ-USA, Women's League for Conservative Judaism, and the Federation of Jewish Men's Clubs. She is also a Public Speaker, Israel Advocate, Activist, Photographer and Writer.
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