Due to DJF’s faithful support and good cooperation with The Jewish Agency For Israel, we were invited to a great welcome party in Ben Gurion Int’l Airport yesterday, where 200 new olim (immigrants) arrived from France, Russia, and South America. Much love and congratulations to all the new Israelis!
Impressions from the Old City set to the song “Adonai Eloheinu – The Lord is our God”
One of the names of the upcoming holiday of Shavuot is Chag Hakatzir-the Festival for reaping- as the Holiday marks the beginning of the wheat harvest in Israel. To grow wheat, one must go through many steps including tilling and preparing the land, planting seeds, and then raking, watering, and weeding the field. Similarly, caring for children takes time, care and investment. At Orr Shalom, we aim to nurture and grow our children so that eventually, they will mature and leave their home “field” and flourish.
Wishing you and your family a Happy Shavuot!
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Newsletter Includes the Following Topics:
• Children Under Attack: Orr Shalom’s Therapeutic family group Homes During Rocket Attacks
• A Lasting Legacy Through Orr Shalom: Investment in Our Future
• Safe Haven Overnight Camp: Passover Fun for 60 Children
• New in “Against all Odds”: Graduate Program Courses and New Apartments!
• Sharing Our Knowledge Internationally: Orr Shalom Leading the Pack!
Children Under Attack
Last month, hundreds of Orr Shalom children, graduates and staff- located throughout Southern Israel- found themselves under rocket fire. Orr Shalom operates seven Therapeutic Family Group Homes and oversees several foster families, that were directly under attack.
Unfortunately, for most of these children rocket attacks are not new. The Orr Shalom professional staff were prepared and ready to provide much needed support, love and warmth during the difficult times. In all, four Orr Shalom homes were evacuated and hosted in kibbutzim around the country.
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A Lasting Legacy Through Orr Shalom
Orr Shalom is honored to announce a generous gift through the Maria Polanska Foundation. The Foundation is directly funding the extra-curricular activities of our children, such as dance, sport, music and much more. This investment has provided these children with an even better chance to maximize their individual potential and to build a path to a successful and healthy future.
Supporting our Foster Families
Ongoing Support and Guidance
On May 26, Orr Shalom, and the Haruv Institute, held a gathering and workshop on how to talk to children about trauma and pain.
As part of the ongoing support to our foster families, this month, Orr Shalom began running group sessions to teach our foster parents DBT skills. DBT has been found to be an impactful and beneficial approach to help manage trauma and decrease the effects of traumatic experiences.
Our Foster Families in the Arab Community
Recently, Orr Shalom held a fun event to support our foster families in the Israeli-Arab community. The families enjoyed a day packed with activities, sport, arts and crafts and most importantly met other families fostering children.
Safe Haven Overnight Camp- Passover 2019
We are proud to report on another successful Safe Haven session for 46 of our children who were unable to return to their biological parents during the Passover break. The campers took part in a range of fun and exciting activities at Kanot Youth Village. Our Safe Haven Director, staff, and children report that this was one of the best camps yet.
New in “Against all Odds”: The Orr Shalom Graduate Program
This year, thanks in large part to the generous support of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia (JFGP,) the Orr Shalom Graduate Program is celebrating its fifth year of activities and support for graduates. Orr Shalom thanks the JFGP for their ongoing partnership and support.
“Handy-Woman” Course: In a new initiative to provide our graduates with more “real-life” skills in preparation for living an independent life, our graduate women will learn basic carpentry, electric work, and other household maintenance skills.
New Apartments: In partnership with the Ministry of Welfare, Orr Shalom is pleased to report that three additional apartments for Orr Shalom Graduates will open in the Summer of 2019. The locations for the apartments have yet to be finalized.
Sharing our Knowledge Internationally
As Orr Shalom turns 40 we are being recognized globally as a leading organization in the field of foster care and therapeutic interventions. Orr Shalom’s involvement in the following two international conferences highlight our growing influence in this field:
Second Annual International Conference on Child Maltreatment:
Orr Shalom’s Chief Psychologist, Stacey Yehoshua recently presented at the International Conference on Child Maltreatment, the second annual international conference sponsored by Haruv USA and the University of Oklahoma-Tulsa Learning Center. Stacey shared Orr Shalom’s experience in providing DBT therapy and the success we have experienced implementing this within our Therapeutic Family Group Homes.
FICE 34th World Conference: Orr Shalom is proud to announce our participation at the FICE (International Federation of Educative Communities) 34th World Congress, this coming October. The World Congress is held every three years, and provides professionals working with children at risk and/or with special needs, as well as youth in out-of-home care with the opportunity to learn, discuss and share best practices. The Congress aims to highlight new and impactful initiatives. To this end, Orr Shalom therapeutic professionals will present on topics such as our “Emergency Foster Care Program” and “Helping Foster Families Cope with Uncertainty and Changing Reality”.
Orr Shalom concluded an important vacation camp for youth at risk over the national Passover vacation in Israel. Orr Shalom is Israel’s largest private care organization for foster children and youth at risk. Danish-Jewish Friendship is proud and pleased to be part of Orr Shalom’s support base.
Orr Shalom is Israel’s largest private care organization for foster children and youth at risk. Danish-Jewish Friendship is proud and pleased to be part of Orr Shalom’s support base. Pesach Sameach!
Orr Shalom is Israel’s largest private care organization for foster children and youth at risk. See concrete numbers concerning how your support through DJV is part of blessing Israel and affecting youth for the better:
Danish-Jewish Friendship is proud to support the work of foster care organization Orr Shalom, Light of Peace. Read about the projects in which we have engaged in the report below:
Danish-Jewish Friendship is proud to support the work of foster care organization Orr Shalom, Light of Peace. Read about projects in which we have engaged in the report below:
Grace Galsurkar, an immigrant to Israel from India. Photo: Nathan Roi for The Jewish Agency for Israel
Helping immigrants from India integrate into Israeli society
Until a few decades ago, there were 30,000 Jews living in India. Today, there are about 5,000. But a rising number of Indian Jews are finding inspiration in their new home, Israel, thanks to the efforts of The Jewish Agency.
“I felt that I was Jewish in my soul and was attracted to Israel,” says Grace Galsurkar, 26, one of six Jews immigrating from India who currently live and study at the Canada House – Ulpan Etzion campus in Jerusalem.
The Canada House is one of The Jewish Agency’s 21 absorption centers, which offer a “soft landing” and transitional housing for new immigrant families and adults at the beginning of their acculturation process in Israel. The absorption centers include classrooms for lessons in Hebrew, preparation for life and employment in Israel, events, activities, and cultural presentations; the centers served around 8,200 olim in 2017.
“Until I decided to immigrate to Israel, I was concentrated on my career,” says Grace, a native of Mumbai. “I have a master’s degree in commerce and accounting, and I want to continue my career here until I become independent, and then I’ll look for a relationship that will lead to a family.”
Members of the Benei Menashe after their arrival at Ben Gurion Airport. Photo: Israel National Photo Collection/Moshe Milner
Within The Jewish Agency’s absorption centers, ulpanim provide immigrants with five hours of intensive and immersive Hebrew-language instruction five days a week, for five months. The instructors, who are certified by Israel’s Ministry of Education, weave together a variety of techniques to help students improve their command of the language. Classes are taught at several levels and include trips and units on Israeli culture to enhance the learning experience and help with the immigrants’ cultural integration. Ulpanim serve around 10,500 students each year.
“I love Ulpan Etzion,” says Grace’s friend Golda Gadkar, who also made Aliyah from Mumbai, where she studied in the same field, commerce and accounting. “I chose my studio apartment here when I was in contact with a Jewish Agency emissary in India, who helped me and my friends immigrate to Israel. As they chose the studio, my parents objected because they said I could not be here alone, without family. But now that I’m here, I feel I can cope with loneliness and living alone. My parents call every day and are interested in what I’m going through.”
Golda, who is in her 20s, says she made Aliyah because she “wanted to get to know the State of Israel closely, and deepen my acquaintance with Israel.”
“I wanted to see how Israeli society works and how people operate in Israel,” she says. “I want to know the soldiers, those who make a sacrifice and protect the people of Israel so that we can live here and be free.”
Recent immigrant Vered Solomon was born in Israel, but her parents returned to India when she was 2-years-old. Now in her 20s, Vered says she “wanted to go home to Israel.”
The Jewish Agency works with 3,000 Jews in India. There are four known Indian Jewish communities: the Bene Israel, the Baghdadi Jews, the Bnei Menashe, and the Bene Ephraim.
Aliyah from India and around the world represents The Jewish Agency’s historic mandate to bring Jews home to Israel. From August 2016 to July 2017, The Jewish Agency facilitated the Aliyah of a total of 27,770 Jews, including 600 from Africa and Asia.
This story was reported by Nathan Roi for The Jewish Agency for Israel in June 2018 and has been reposted with permission from The Jewish Agency for Israel.