Sponsor a gorgeous guide dog puppy from just £5 a week, and watch them grow from a six-week-old bundle of fur to a fully-qualified guide dog. It’s a great way to support the Israel Guide Dog Centre and every puppy’s journey is unique! After 24 months of training, your puppy will give freedom and independence to a blind or visually impaired Israeli.

Sponsor a puppy today at: israelguidedog.org.uk

Click on donate  or call 020 8090 3455 and you will receive a certificate and cuddly Labrador toy

And here in the UK…

Murder on the Orient Express, the Israeli Ambassador and a bumper Spinathon were all part of a year of mega fundraising by the UK Friends of IGDCB. “We needed to go big on everything,” explains UK executive director Martin Segal. “The events, activities and mega marketing campaign were crucial to promoting and raising funds for the new Puppy Development and Breeding Campus, which will officially open next April. All of this helped the ‘UK Friends’ of the centre raise well over their projected income for the year.”

Things the UK Friends got busy organising included screenings of the films Denial and Murder on the Orient Express, a private bridge day, the Maccabi Fun Run and Spinathon, and a guide dog partnership visit from Israel.

Mark Regev (left) visiting the centre

Meeting Israeli Ambassador Mark Regev was a highlight, but more for him because he was introduced to Bracha ben Avraham and her guide dog, Dinka, who was the first Israeli guide dog partnership allowed into the UK when quarantine laws were revised. “Fundraising for the new campus has to date raised more than £100,000 and there’s more still coming in now,” says an excited Martin.

“We have continued to go into schools and teach children about blindness and what to do if they encounter a blind person and their guide dog. We have also formed a new fundraising and events team made up of a number of volunteers, so if anyone is interested in joining us, I’d love to hear from them.”

Not everything a charity does has to be on a grand scale, and the supporters who held dog walks and other small fundraising activities are appreciated and they raise awareness and funds for the centre.
“I must single out one person, though, from all the amazing people who have helped us this year,” adds Martin. “Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg works tirelessly to help us and continuously welcomes us to his shul and his home. He has run the Jerusalem Marathon, participated in the Maccabi Fun Run and asked people to donate towards his special birthday and 30-year anniversary since taking Smicha this year for us, and has single-handedly raised thousands for the centre.”

Martin recently attended the launch of his latest book, Things My Dog Has Taught Me About Being a Better Human.

“I was humbled to see that in the acknowledgements he had thanked both myself and Noach Braun, our CEO, for our work training guide dogs. How nice is that?

“To conclude, I would like to say that as we celebrate the Festival of Lights, let us take a moment to remember those less fortunate people who will never see a menorah, and let us recommit, as I do every year at this time, to helping them, as best we can, have a life of independence and self-esteem with a faithful friend by their side.”

• Come and meet a guide dog at Limmud this month Chag Chanukah sameach to all our friends and supporters