Myriam Mendilow

Photo of Myriam Mendilow“If you want to make human beings happy, treat them as human beings. Give them the possibility to do, the possibility to love, the possibility to feel wanted, and the country will benefit, the families will benefit, and the old people will benefit.” -Myriam Mendilow

What began as one woman’s vision to promote dignity for elderly throughout the world has become a dream shared by thousands of enthusiastic believers in the validity of her message: of human compassion, respect, and welfare.

The story of Myriam’s Dream is the story of how one human being can, in fact, change the world. The dream originally belonged to Myriam Mendilow, an Israeli school teacher who made her own life a lesson for students young and old. Myriam, a petite energetic dynamo, was disheartened by the lack of respect and understanding her young students exhibited toward the elderly, and especially the elderly poor. She quit her teaching job and created workshops in Jerusalem where only the elderly and disabled were employed, binding books, creating beautiful handiwork, and sharing the lessons they had learned during their lifetimes.

Myriam died in 1989. In 1992, BeGeD KeFeT, a musical group of cantors and rabbis inspired by Myriam, founded Myriam’s Dream, Inc., a not-for-profit all volunteer corporation to collect funds to be used solely for the furtherance of Myriam’s dream around the world.

There is no office, no staff, and no administrative expense. All of the volunteers knew and were touched by Myriam’s ideas and passionate eloquence. The funds we raise are distributed as grants to projects worldwide, designed to advance human dignity, promote respect for the elderly and disabled, and preserve the valuable heritage that only the elderly can teach the young.

In 12 short years, Myriam’s Dream grants have created many programs for the old and the young, in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Eilat, Petah Tikva, Mate Yehuda region, Moscow, Prague, Estonia, the former Soviet Union, Cape Town, and even Pleasantville, NJ.

As Myriam taught us: “To be is to do.” We cannot succeed without our Friends. We need your help and your support.