Hadassah’s two Youth Aliyah villages, Hadassah Neurim and Meir Shfeyah, are among 46 youth villages across Israel providing approximately 12,000 Israeli youth with a nurturing environment in which to live and thrive. The villages meet all the needs of growing children, from nutritious meals to safe living conditions to a full education to meaningful work experiences.
Children are referred to the villages because they cannot live at home—perhaps their parents are unable to care for them, perhaps they have been bullied at school, or maybe their families, say, in Russia or Ukraine, want to ensure a productive future for their children.
Yet, according to a recent article in The Jerusalem Post, many of these villages are on the brink of financial collapse due to lack of sufficient support by the Israeli Ministry of Education. Hadassah’s two Youth Aliyah villages are in a unique position thanks to the ongoing support of Hadassah donors. Yet even Hadassah's villages have experienced the consequences of government cutbacks for years. Hadassah Neurim and Meir Shfeyah receive less than 80 percent of the costs of the services they provide.
It is only because of Hadassah’s support that since last March some 60 Ukrainian students have been able to live and study in safety in Hadassah Neurim and Meir Shfeyah. Donors have also enabled Meir Shfeyah to build and equip a new school building, renovate classrooms, initiate the bar/bat mitzvah program and hire new teachers, counselors and social workers.
To read the story in The Jerusalem Post about the precariousness of Israel’s youth villages, click here.