Provision of Educational and Therapeutic Services for At-Risk Children
Orr Shalom develops and operates a range of educational and therapeutic programs for Israeli children at risk and their parents. Orr Shalom's vision is to enable Israel's at-risk children to realize their potential and their right to grow up loved, protected, and respected. Utilizing small therapeutic frameworks, Orr Shalom assists them to overcome their emotional, academic, and social distress and to grow, develop, and integrate as citizens in mainstream society.
Today, Orr Shalom cares for over 1,400 children and youth-at-risk who have been removed from their homes because of abuse and/or neglect. Orr Shalom is committed to finding a replacement home for every child in its care and to helping children break the cycle of abuse. For 20 years, Orr Shalom has employed Sherut Leumi (National Service) volunteers in 20 therapeutic family group homes. The volunteers care for the physical, educational, and emotional needs of the children, helping to provide a safe, loving, and therapeutic environment where each child experiences a healthy model of family life, often for the very first time.
IAJF sponsored two National Service volunteers, responsible for caring for 20 at-risk children living in family group homes in Eilat. IAJF also provided five highly vulnerable orphans with additional therapy, educational intervention, and clothing, helping them rebuild their shattered worlds.
Sponsorship of Summer Camp for Children with Cancer in Israel
Every year, about 400 children are diagnosed with cancer in Israel. The diagnosis changes the life of the patient and his family radically. Hospitalization, strict treatment regimen, side effects and social isolation become part of daily life.
Sunrise Association aims to bring back the joys of childhood to children with cancer and their siblings world-wide through the creation of Sunrise Day Camps, Year-Round Programs and In-Hospital Recreational Activities. Sunrise Israel provides free day camps facilitating the much-needed integration of adaptive recreational programming with medical oversight. IAJF sponsored a full summer of camp for three children and their siblings in Israel, restoring for them a sense of normalcy and childhood while they were dealing with this dreadful disease.
IAJF's support enabled Sunrise Israel to change months of loneliness and isolation into summers filled with sunshine, laughter and happiness.
Support of the Excavation Site of the City of David in Jerusalem's Old City
The long history of Jerusalem and its role in the history of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, made it only natural that the first archaeological excavations in the Holy Land were conducted in Jerusalem.
Nowadays, The City of David Foundation is dedicated to the preservation and development of the Biblical City of David and its environs, and is committed to connecting people from around the world to ancient Jerusalem's glorious past.
IAJF has partnered with Ir David to support the discovery and preservation of the area as well as educational endeavors related to ancient Jerusalem and the strong bond that has existed between Jews and Jerusalem for thousands of years.
Playgrounds for Children in Eshkol Regional Council
The Eshkol Regional Council is located in the Western Negev and borders on the Gaza Strip and Egypt and is home to 13,500 residents. During the 2014 war in Gaza, 1330 missiles targeted the Eshkol Region; the IAJF immediately sponsored buses to relocate some of the residents of Eshkol to safer areas in Israel.
A year after the war, Eshkol is still in rehabilitation. The IAJF joined forces with Eshkol residents and sponsored four playground facilities, each near a fortified safe room. The people of Eshkol strongly believe that these playgrounds will allow their children a sense of freedom in a normal atmosphere - a place children can be children. The IAJF is proud to stand by the people and children of Eshkol and to partner in rebuilding the Council.
Members of Eshkol hosted the IAJF at Kibbutz Nirim and held a beautiful inauguration ceremony at the playground sponsored by the IAJF. Gadi Yarkoni, the new head of Eshkol's Regional Council presented the IAJF delegation with a flower-shaped sculpture made from a Kassam rocket, as a symbol of peace, turning destruction into art and rockets into flowers. Mr. Yarkoni is a true symbol of triumph over tragedy, becoming seriously injured in the last hour of the Gaza war from a mortar, losing both legs, and two of his friends were also killed. Following a difficult physical and emotional rehabilitation, Gadi chose to run for leadership of Eshkol.
The Kibbutz members acknowledged the importance of the IAJF support, which enriches the children's pastime, adds color to the Eshkol landscape and symbolizes solidarity and empathy - a valuable key to their internal resilience.
|Eshkol's children playing at the new playground facility
sponsored by IAJF
|Gadi Yarkoni, Head of Eshkol Regional Council and member of
Kibbutz Nirim presents the IAJF board members with a sculpture of a
flower made of a Kassam rocket
IAJF Supports Activities for Young Ethiopian Immigrants at the Israel Scouts (Tzofim)
The population of the Ethiopian community in Israel is approximately
130,000 people, more than 50% of them under the age of 18. Therefore, it is
necessary to focus on youth educational activity for this population in order
to integrate them into mainstream Israeli society. Approximately 70% of
the Ethiopian community is living on or below the poverty line. Research
on teens of the Ethiopian community indicates that absorption into Israeli
society has been difficult and many are classified as "at-risk youth".
The structure of the Tzofim movement significantly impacts the educational-social
situation in the Ethiopian community by creating concentrated and
targeted multicultural activities to integrate these youth into society while
preserving their Ethiopian heritage. It allows them to meet and mix with
groups of their peers as part of the regular Tzofim activities. This situation
creates an opportunity for the Shva scouts to develop self and group
empowerment and to forge a positive identity and a sense of belonging to the social framework. Building
a suitable activity program will help prevent and reduce gaps while they are still young as well as prevent
and reduce the various risk behavior patterns.
For many years the IAJF has supported the Shva Scouts for Ethiopian youths within the Israeli Scouts
Movement (Tzofim). The Shva scouts comprised of approximately 900 Ethiopian scouts, aged 10-18.
Shva activity takes place in 38 troops in 22 different communities throughout Israel. IAJF generously
sponsored this year the Erez tribe in the city of Netanya, which includes Ethiopians living below the
poverty line. There are currently 75 Scouts in Erez tribe between 4th and 12th grade. In 9th grade these
Scouts undergo leadership training which not only helps them with the skills within the tribe but their
community as well. Teaching children the life skills of leadership and empowerment has proven that the
chance for a better life will significantly improve.