By Barbara Sofer
Yaron grew up in an extremely religious family in Safed, but in the 10th grade he decided he no longer believed. The eldest of eight kids, he became a negative role model in the eyes of his parents and neighborhood. His parents didn't reject him. With the help of the social worker, they arranged for him to move to Meir Shfeyah. "He's our son," said his mother.
"When he first came, like all adolescents, he tested boundaries," said village psychologist Maayan Burstein. "He asked for a foster family, but we turned him down. He has to make peace with his own family. Since Shabbat had become a point of conflict with his family, we invited him to stay in the village for Shabbat. It's quiet and nice here then.”
"He had studied in a yeshiva, where basic subjects weren't covered. He had to redo a grade. He is working in the cow shed, which he loves, and getting therapy. I go with him to visit his parents, and we talk about their love for each other and what they share. His living away from home and getting help takes away stress in the family. They can recognize their differences and remain close. We see healing within the family as a major goal," says Burstein.
Meir Shfeyah is located in the Carmel Mountains near Zichron Yaakov. Read about how our Youth Aliyah program sets at-risk children in Israel on the path to a successful future. Since 1934, over 300,000 young people from 80 lands have graduated from Youth Aliyah.
Read more about Youth Aliyah