Children and parents from the Ma'aleh Adumim community celebrate the birthday of six-year-old Matanel.
(photo credit: NAOMI SINGER FRIST)
It was like a scene from a movie.
The parents of six-year-old Matanel were worried. They were worried that as a child with special needs who is unable to attend school, no children would come to his birthday party on Monday.
But the Yehoshua family received the best surprise humanity could offer.
Not only did hundreds of children and parents from Ma’aleh Adumim come and celebrate with little Matanel, but they were joined by a bus full of Border Police officers and the city’s mayor, Benny Kashriel.
Several videos and photos of the party circulating on social media show a park swarming with children, entertainers, balloons and food stalls - most of which was donated by the community. One video showed a large group of children singing “happy birthday,” giving Matanel balloons and dancing happily around the wheelchair-bound child.
Several people who attended the party said it was incredible to see the turnout.
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Atara Singer Charnowitz, who attended the party and posted her experience on Facebook, said her heart literally stopped when she saw the turnout. “Not only that. The mayor pulls in, everyone’s dancing with him and singing to him bringing him balloons! There was a table piled with gifts!!! I just can’t believe we live in a country where things like his happen.
Where people go out of their way to celebrate [the birthday of] a little boy whom they do not know at all.”
Her post received more than 300 likes and 92 shares by Tuesday afternoon, with several people saying “this is the kind of post that should go viral.”
Kashriel also posted a video of the party to his Facebook page, saying this had been “one of the most exciting moments in my life as mayor – a whole community mobilized, united and focused on one goal: to make the six-year-old Matanel happy on his birthday!” While speaking at the party, the mayor told the people how they had “proven [again] how wonderful and united you are.”
He thanked all the donors, the women’s forum, the business owners, the organizers, the Border Police, “the many residents who arrived with their children as well as everyone else who came so that the dear Matanel would celebrate as he deserved.
“We wish Matanel strong health, happiness and many more moments of joy and love as he has experienced today,” he added.
Others who attended the party, including one woman, Ronit, said she was proud of the city and the mayor.
“It was beautiful to see how everyone came out,” she said.
“There is no other city like ours,” added Liadi Cohen.
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