On Shavuot and Orr Shalom

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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”.

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