These past few weeks we've been busy wrapping up the school year, and rolling out our summer programs. We've opened new Summer Camps, developed our Stepping Stone program to reach additional at-risk adolescent girls, and celebrated another graduation ceremony at the Bet Shemesh Educational Center. 
We’re proud of the work we're doing. We hope you will be too.

Summer Camps

Summer is risky for children living in poverty. The lack of a daily framework that keeps them physically active and mentally stimulated often leads to social exclusion, broader academic gaps, and exposure to negative influences -- issues that at-risk children already face in their daily lives.

Many of the children and families in our programs rely on us for a daily hot meal, educational enrichment, social stimulation, and therapeutic support. 

That's why we provide a summer program for hundreds of at-risk youth from disadvantaged neighborhoods in Greater South Tel Aviv-Jaffa. 

With a full program of sport, music, art, STEM activities, and field trips that are normally inaccessible for these children, our summer camp program gives them an opportunity for positive growth and exploration in a safe environment, and with staff that they trust. 

Give a child a summer to remember

Bet Shemesh Educational Center (BSEC)

The Jaffa Institute and the BSEC’s staff are proud to report numerous achievements during the 2021-2022 academic year, which would not have been possible without the generous support provided by the Kaylie Foundation. We had many graduates this year, who were all able to grow academically, emotionally and spiritually. Read about one of our graduates below!

Moshe, a new graduate, was sitting at a table outside the hall where the graduation ceremony was about to begin. Moshe's father sat at the other end of the table. Moshe lived with his father after emigrating together from Eastern Europe, before he eventually enrolled in BSEC and lived in the dormitory. Moshe himself came to BSEC on the shy side, yet his personality shined in small groups.

At the ceremony, however, a different side of Moshe became apparent. He stood up from his seat, with a great deal of self-confidence, and delivered a humorous "stand-up" routine, poking friendly fun at his friends from the graduating class. Everyone in the hall was laughing. 

Moshe's comfort around his teachers and friends exemplifies the atmosphere at BSEC, allowing him to express an inner desire to entertain. He is joining a pre-army yeshiva in the coming months before moving onto service in the IDF as a combat soldier.

How Stepping Stone is helping adolescent girls with mental health 

The Jaffa Institute’s Stepping Stone Program provides a safe and therapeutic space for adolescent girls who have experienced trauma. The Center facilitates group and individual therapy sessions, workshops, and activities that promote trust and self-acceptance. We sat down to speak with Sari Orim, our Manager of Therapeutic Programming, to hear about the Center and its' efforts around mental health.

What are the biggest challenges teenage girls face today?

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the typical challenges that teenage girl face. Issues such as of isolation and self-doubt have worsened and led to a rise of eating disorders, suicidal tendencies, and self harm. Negative self-image for teenage girls has definitely increased as well, with Zoom having a large influence. As young girls sit for hours staring at themselves on screen, they develop low levels of self-esteem and self-love, triggering disordered eating. Additionally, the isolation during the pandemic challenged teenage girls' ability to form healthy social bonds with peers and increased their exposure to damaging media. When looking at our Center’s participants, we see these issues come up, in addition to ones that existed before the pandemic, such as poverty and abuse. However, these girls are not defined by these risky situations, they are only one part of who these girls are.

In your opinion, what is the best way to combat these issues?

I believe that the best way to combat these issues for teenage girls at our Center is by applying feminist agency principles. This means using principles like autonomy, choice, empowerment, and meaningful engagement. It is vital for us to teach these girls how to build trusting and meaningful relationships. We need to ensure that the girls feel they have control and agency over their journeys.

What does the program offer/provide for the girls?

A non-hierarchal safe space for the girls to gain knowledge, tools, and coping mechanisms, while creating a space to share their experiences and feelings with one another and the staff. It is important to us that the girls feel empowered and have a voice regarding their treatment at the Center.

What is your vision for the Center? Where would you like to see it in a year?

I would like to see more girls at the Center on a permanent basis, I would like for the space to continue providing the girls with a safe and open space, and one where they can learn tools to further develop healthy relationships in their lives.

What are the factors (experience as a social worker, past experience, etc.) that motivate you to work with this program?

I worked and fell in love with this demographic (of teenage girls in risky environments) while working as a social worker for the Bat-Ami organization for 11 years. I feel that this age group and demographic is really unique in their openness and stage of self-discovery. A lot of amazing growth and development can happen at this age.

Sari has worked as a social worker, coordinator, and manager in the development field for over 20 years. We are lucky to have her! 

Our Global Community

The Jaffa Institute's Dutch Friends

Meet Loek and Djoeki Ligthart!
Loek and Djoeki have been involved with the Jaffa Institute for over 30 years.

Loek is our secretary on the Board of the “Stichting Jaffa-Project Nederland,” and his wife, Djoeki, works as our “Handiwoman”. Djoeki provides information about our programs, answers the telephone, and so much more. Twice a year she takes care of sending out our mailing/newsletter to our friends. In the picture below, we see her heading to the post office after finishing this big job. Loek joined her. She filled hundreds of envelopes with our newsletter and added a short personal note for many friends. Loek and Djoeki are both in their eighties and doing a great job!

Support Us

Supporting the Jaffa Institute is easy!
Click the "Support Us" button above to contribute online, or mail a check to one of our
Friends of the Jaffa Institute organizations below:

American Friends of the Jaffa Institute
C/O Dr. E. Hartman
171-06 76th Ave. Flushing, NY 11366 United States
Tel: 1-866-471-1923
Registered Charity No.

Canadian Friends of the Jaffa Institute 
C/O Ms. Pam Albert
3080 Yonge Street, Suite 6060
Toronto Ontario M4N 3N1 Canada
Tel: 1-866-892-1915
Registered Charity No. 86333118RN0001

Swiss Friends of the Jaffa Institute 
C/O Mr. Roger Bollag
Kilchbergstrasse 138
8038 Zurich

British Friends of the Jaffa Institute 
C/O Mr. Simon Winters
Lakeview House
67 Hartfield Avenue
Elstree WD6 3JJ
United Kingdom
Tel: 020-3286-4224
Registered Charity No. 282049

French Friends of the Jaffa Institute
C/O Ms. Sandra Benisty 
56, rue du Rocher
75008 Paris
Tel: 33-0-6-22-84-85-13

Dutch Friends of the Jaffa Institute
C/O Mr. W. van der Hoek
Waleweg 1
3291 AX Strijen
The Netherlands
Tel: 31-78-674-5014

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