Hope and Healing for At-Risk Youth

$2.0 million of $2.2 million

Each year, disadvantaged children across Israel are in need of shelter and therapeutic treatment due to abuse and neglect. Hundreds of children have found refuge in a residential community called Ahava Village for Children and Youth, where they have access to a range of therapeutic programs, from psychological counseling to bibliotherapy. These treatment methods, along with the supportive living environment, can rehabilitate traumatized youth and give them a normal childhood. As of now, all the therapists and tools available to these children are spread out in different locations across the Ahava Village campus and do not have sufficient space to operate to their full potential. Bnai Zion is raising funds for a new therapy center, which would allow these children to receive customized, coordinated, and cutting-edge treatment as a foundation for the children to become happy, healthy, and productive members of Israeli society.

Our Project

“Right now we don’t have a therapy center, so we have different rooms,” says Liat Leibovich, a clinical psychologist at Ahava Village. “Many therapists work in bomb shelters, and it’s not easy for them and the kids. I work in this place that has plastic walls, and it’s shaky, and you can hear what’s happening in the next room. Even though we work in all these places, we don’t have enough rooms, and we don’t have enough space to conduct the therapy.”

Bnai Zion, in partnership with the Ahava Village, seeks to unite all the different therapeutic offerings under one roof by funding the construction of a new therapy center. Having all the multimedia equipment and therapeutic tools and games in one facility will make them more easily accessible to the therapists, as well as encourage more frequent collaborations across therapeutic fields. Each child at Ahava Village requires an individualized course of treatment. With coordinated, specialized support from a dedicated staff that includes psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, special therapists, caregivers, and special education teachers, the children can begin to heal, learn to trust, and grow to have purposeful and fulfilling lives.

Who Benefits

The new therapy center will benefit over 250 children who have suffered abuse and neglect, allowing them to transcend their traumatic past, maximize their capabilities, and embrace opportunities for their future. The center will also continue to benefit disadvantaged children who come through the residential program for generations to come.

The professional team that will work in the new therapy center will be able to develop a unique treatment plan to address 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, bibliotherapy, and writing therapy. These therapies have been shown to transform troubled kids into optimistic young adults with the tools to move past their traumatic childhoods.

Our Partner

The Ahava Village for Children and Youth has been a trusted partner of Bnai Zion for many years. Ahava Village provides a safe residential space for children who have been removed from their homes due to parental abuse, violence, abandonment, or neglect. Recently, Bnai Zion worked with the Ahava Village to build an emergency center to help children taken out of their homes during urgent, threatening situations. This center serves as a therapeutic diagnostic center for their first three months, when the children are in a very fragile psychological state. The center also provides pet therapy to foster warm and loving relationships between the children and their animal friends that will help them develop functional and positive relationships with others as adults. Bnai Zion also collaborated with the Ahava Village on the construction of safe rooms and a new auditorium, as well as the implementation of the 18-Plus Project to provide support for young alumni who are serving in the IDF or working in civil service and do not have a family to return to.

Fulfilling Our Mission

Children are the key to Israel’s successful future. Without the proper care and treatment, these disadvantaged children will continue to suffer and will struggle to assimilate into Israeli society. Give a child the gift of hope and help us build a more inclusive, healthy, vibrant Israel by turning the dream of a new therapy center into a reality.