Ahava Village for Children and Youth,
Ahava means ‘love' in Hebrew.
One might figure that a child in Israel will have decent and caring parents and live in a nurturing, supportive environment where dreams for the future will be encouraged and nourished. But sadly, that is not always the case. There are children in families where unspeakable horrors take place – murder, sexual abuse, drug addiction, and neglect – for whom the regular foster care system in Israel is not enough. Children from these “worst case” situations need more care, more treatment and more understanding to overcome their nightmares and to learn how to have a functional life. They get all that at Ahava.
Therapy at Ahava
Each child at Ahava requires compassionate care, treatment and understanding to overcome the nightmares they have endured. With continuous specialized support from a dedicated staff that includes a psychiatrist, three psychologists, 11 social workers, 12 special therapists, caregivers and special education teachers the children can begin to heal, learn to trust and grow to have purposeful and fulfilling lives; and be productive members of Israeli society.
The therapeutic team develops a unique treatment plan that addresses each child’s individual needs. In addition to one-on-one and group therapy the program includes horseback riding, animal care, movement therapy, drama therapy, biblio therapy and writing therapy. Currently, the therapists are located in different buildings across the Ahava campus. It will be a much-needed improvement once Ahava’s new Therapy Center is completed, to have all therapists and therapies under one roof. Multimedia equipment, therapeutic equipment and games will be easily accessible to all of the therapists; and more frequent collaborations will be facilitated.
The cost to build and furnish the Therapeutic Center is $2.2 million.
Announcing Our New Program: Adopt-a-Family in Ahava Village
We're delighted to announce our new program, Adopt a Mishpachton in Ahava Village. With a continual monthly contribution, you can support one of the fifteen families in this refuge for abused children, and learn how the mishpachton provides nurturing care and encouragement to its residents. Click here for more information.
Description of Project
Ahava began educational and therapeutic work with Jewish children over 80 years ago
in Berlin. Since then, it has helped thousands of children and youth in Israel. Located in
Kiryat Bialik, Ahava is a residential center for children ages 6-18 coming from high-risk home situations. Comprised of apartments, educational facilities and leisure areas, the campus is home to over 250 children, who receive personalized care, support and training. Designed to help children overcome severely dysfunctional backgrounds, Ahava offers
a variety of activities and therapies and plays a leading role integrating these children
and youth into Israeli society to be useful citizens leading fulfilling lives. For the last 30 years Ahava has been home to abused children, placed there by the court system, who stay until they join the Israel Defense Forces or go into national service.
The emergency center provides help to 25 children taken out of their homes during urgent, threatening situations and it serves as a therapeutic diagnostic center for their first three months, when the children are in a very fragile psychological state.
There are 15 apartments, each with a married couple, a volunteer and others overseeing 13 children ages 6-18 who reside in each apartment. Half of the children go to an on-campus special-education school, and the other half go to 25 schools outside Ahava, The main therapeutic center has 10 socialworkers, 8 psychotherapists, 2 psychologists and a psychiatrist. For leisure activities there are over 10 educational projects, 6 sport group activities, and many other group activities in music, journalism and in the arts.
Pet therapy is an integral and important component of the program, fostering warm and loving relationships between the children and their animal friends that help them develop functional and positive experiences with others as adults.
The 18-Plus Project helps young alumni ages 18-25 serving in the IDF, in civil service or working, who do not have a family to return to. These young adults live in four apartments and a social worker and others provide emotional and other support.
Ahava helps children who have suffered abuse and neglect transcend their traumatic past, maximize their capabilities and embrace keen opportunities for their future.
Ahava Village History
The Impact of Bnai Zion
Plans for the Future