Gina & Rudy Fidel: Emunah

Gina & Rudy presented at our April 20th Heritage Group AGM in room A137. Rudy is the pastor at Faith Temple Church. Gina retired from RRC in 2005. She was an ESL instructor.

Emunah is a social services school in Israel that Gina and Rudy visited and have supported. Their presentation was on Emunah and all the wonderful people they met while travelling in Israel.

Rudy began their talk by saying that Gina is the one with the inspiration and passion.

Emunah means faith as does Fidel

Emunah embodies, faithfulness, loyalty, fidelity and honouring commitments. They learned about Emunah through a friend in Ottawa who works at the embassy. There was a video on Emunah. It is a children’s home and school for kids who need help. A student who graduated from there wrote a letter about it, stating it is “the family for which they yearn”.

(left to right) Ruth Guggenheim of World Emunah, Gina Fidel, Rebbetzin Inna Markovitch & her husband Rabbi Jonatan Markovitch, Chief Rabbi of Kyiv Ukraine, Rev. Rudy Fidel

The Fidel’s PowerPoint presentation had pictures of some of the tours that Gina and Rudy took and the many people they met. Among them were featured Rabbi Jonatan Markovitch and his wife, Rebbetzin Inna Markovitch.

The Rabbi dreamed of opening another school in Kyiv, which they did. In the school children receive 3 hot meals a day and are taught 4 languages: Ukrainian, Russian, English and Hebrew. Gina had planned on volunteering to teach English and then the war happened. The School is still in Kyiv, running on generators. Bombs flew close to the school and they had to go to the basement. The staff is very dedicated.

Another high school outside Tel Aviv, e Emunah Neve Sarah Herzog High School,  focuses on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Gina and Rudy donated about $15,000 to the school on behalf of the church. They wanted to honour their former pastor William Taylor who was a research scientist. This school supports the sciences.

One of the PowerPoint slides featured a plaque honoring Gina, Rudy and Faith Temple for their support.

Others slides were of the homes and their activities. Emunah Achuzat Sarah’s Children HomeEmunah Sarah Herzog Children’s Home, and Neve Michael Children’s Village were featured. Each child has their own bedroom and space. It is so peaceful and less stressful for the kids. Some features of the homes are as follows:

  • A social worker established jewellry shops that sells jewellry that goes back into the home. Children make the jewellry. Gina participated in a class and sent around what she had made to our group.
  • One of the homes has a carpentry shop and teaches how to make lawn furniture. All the kids leave with a trade. Gina made a box in class and this was passed around for us to see.
  • In Neve Michael Children’s Village, a boy’s school, the director of the school came for a few months and stayed for 30 years.

Other PowerPoint slides were of the many tours that Gina and Rudy took:

Gina and Carmen with Shusha the camel in the Judean hills on the way to the Dead Sea
  • The tunnels of the City of David
  • The Emunah Sarah Ronson Crisis and Intervention Center in Sderot, close to the Gaza Strip (a donation was made here in Gina’s name.)
  • A caterpillar bomb shelter in Sderot. Children play inside here and it is a functional bomb shelter if needed.
  • Schindler’s grave in Jerusalem, with Gina laying a stone. Gina and Rudy know Oscar Schindler’s two daughters and they have become friends.
  • Gina and Granddaughter Carmen with a native camel.
  • Asaf Eisen, a guide that they had. (they have become friends as well)
  • Mount of Beatitudes
  • Charles Coward plaque on a tree. This plaque was discovered by Gina. On a former trip they had become friends with the Coward family. He wrote a book called “The Password is Courage”

A question and answer period followed. Some of the highlights:

  • The medical systems is very good
  • Students get to the school by many means. For example there were plane loads of kids that came from Ethiopia.
  • The media portrays Israel as a villain however Gina and Rudy’s perception is that Israel is made up of many different people and they just want to live together.
  • There are more Nobel prize winners from Israel than anywhere else.
  • Gina and Rudy will be presenting again in the fall to the HG group on how this all came to pass, mostly since Gina retired.

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