Please Help the most underprivileged children in Israel
Due to the unfortunate circumstances that many of our children come from, they require extra light and joy to compensate for the years of deprivation and suffering they have endured. Ohr Simcha was founded in 1971 and is among the nation’s most experienced institutions of this sort.
Recognized by Israel's Ministry of Social Affairs as a therapeutic boarding school, it serves a diverse population of religious and ethnic backgrounds including Arab and African countries and as a meeting ground for children and youth from all over the country. They grew up in poverty, in single-parent families, with divorced parents, sick people, drug addicts and prisoners. Some of the children are orphans.
The children are helpless and need a warm home, security and support. We are considered to be one of the leading therapeutic campuses in Israel thanks to our special form of rehabilitation, attention and warmth, and do everything they can to provide the children a balanced education and strong socio-cultural values. Thanks to the devoted care, personal attention and assistance they receive in the school, children are able to develop, recover and move forward as productive members of society.
We combine learning and individual care in unique ways that enable each and every child to reach his fullest potential. The children are always productively occupied and are constantly learning and discovering. Yet at the same time they are given enough freedom and support to develop as individuals. At the boarding school, the children enjoy a warm and loving home, in a rural setting in tranquility with a lively community life.
Our dedicated, experienced and attentive staff, imbued with vision and a sense of mission, give children attention and warmth, doing everything in their power to have them advance academically as well as socially, culturally and morally. Thanks to the dedicated care, the personal attention and the help they receive at the boarding school, the children succeed in developing, rehabilitating and moving forward.
The professional staff includes about 100 people, including teachers, educators, professional therapists, counselors, social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, educational counselors, mothers, mentors, doctors, nurses, tutors, volunteers and private tutors. Our personal care program is built according to each child's personal needs. It includes a variety of services and sports and leisure facilities such as clinics including a dental clinic, a pedagogical center, a gym, a kiosk, billiard rooms and tennis courts, computer rooms, libraries, a petting zoo, lawns etc. The school has a safe room for grades 1 to 9, which is recognized by the Ministry of Education. The school has therapeutic and special education classes. In addition, the school has art therapy, a speech therapist, auxiliary classes, and more.
Helping Our Students
The students of the boarding school, who grew up under intolerable conditions of poverty and acute distress, arrive as high risk minors with a significant lag especially in their studies and emotional development, behind their peers and without learning habits after having experienced many failures in educational institutions. Some during certain periods of their lives lived without any educational framework. In addition the circumstances of their lives caused most of them to develop learning disabilities, attention deficit disorders and severe emotional and mental problems. In addition, many of the students suffer from low self-esteem and severe emotional problems that impair their ability to function.
We invest as much as possible in our students in order to give them a real chance of a better life and to enable them to acquire skills for a normative life in the future. Running the boarding school and the various projects involves costs, which we can not cover without support. – We urge you to support our efforts to rehabilitate children at risk and integrate them into society.
The children of Ohr Simcha have either been forcibly removed from their homes by social services due to abuse or neglect or brought by parents and relatives who are not able to care for them. These children require psychological therapy and in some cases medical intervention.
In 2005, Ohr Simcha spearheaded a unique Family Foster Home (FFH) framework and has grown to a total of 72 children over the past six years.
Thirteen children who are most in need are selected to move from the boarding school framework to the Family Homes. Preference is also given to the youngest children and children who suffer from chronic diseases who require extra care and attention. The children live with a married couple, their foster parents and their biological children in a family-like setting with a warm and loving home who take care of them for intensive care and supervision and operating according to regulations set by the Ministry of Welfare, the Ministry of Educational.
The couple is carefully selected according to their educational and therapeutic experience as well as caring personality. They are responsible for caring for all of the children's physical, emotional and social needs, for constructing an educational program, maintaining ongoing contact with the school, instilling discipline and values, and being available to listen and provide for any need that might arise with the children. In every dwelling area twelve children live in six bedrooms. We have six sections in the boarding school and we want to absorb additional children.
The children's’ daily routine is constructed around the family as much as possible and within the home. They eat together as a family (and not in the boarding schools’ dining room), do laundry, receive separate therapy sessions, attend special events and go on trips as a family. Our various forms of therapy including: art therapy, music therapy, drama therapy, counseling and group therapy, are rigorously tailored to each child by our professional therapeutic staff.
In the mornings they attend the regular school framework and in the afternoons engage in our various enrichment activities such as computers, sports, carpentry, electronics, art, music, etc. They also receive homework assistance if necessary and emotional therapy. They are readily able to be checked up on by their foster parents but also are given their privacy. After the age of 14 the children transfer from the family home unit into a high school dormitory, also located on our campus. Under the care they receive at Ohr Simcha the children grow up to be productive loving people and parents and have served wonderfully in the military as well.
As part of our efforts, to fill the voids in the children's’ lives that they came to us with we hold a bar mitzvah every year for 20 children. The Bar Mitzvah ceremony is very important and is a major milestone in the transition from childhood to adulthood. The parents of the children do not participate in the organization or funding of their children's Bar Mitzvah celebrations.
The event includes a learning process, an aliyah to the Torah at the Western Wall and a big celebration, to which family members, friends and public figures are invited. We purchase suitable clothing, tefillin, tallit and gifts for each child. As part of the festivities, we also take the campers for tours around the country.
We need assistance through support or sponsorship to produce the Bar Mitzvah celebrations and cover the costs involved. The costs include studying for the ceremony, purchasing clothing and accessories (talit and tefillin) for each trainee, traveling to the Western Wall, organizing the ceremony (stage, refreshments, musical accompaniment, photography) and tours.
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One of the most effective ways of dealing with a wide range of difficulties our children have including behavioral and functional, difficulties is intensive therapy through art and music. It is an effective tool that help children with qualified and experienced therapists to rebuild their self-confidence.
In the animal corner built in the boarding school, the students enjoy animal therapy. The treatment is designed to develop and enhance emotional, social, behavioral and motor skills. In addition, it provides knowledge and familiarity with life processes and develops curiosity.
Through our riding lessons, students learn riding skills and horse control and improve abilities such as attention and concentration, spatial orientation, and gross and fine coordination. Being close to a living creature, accepting and loving the rider in a nonjudgmental and reserved manner, allows the formation of a bond that contributes greatly to the child's mental and emotional health.
Students learn martial arts to strengthen values of discipline and achievement and experience group sports that foster social skills and cooperation. This activity gives the students an opportunity to experience success, and to channel this positive experience into the school framework as well.
Please Help US
It is very expensive to operate a boarding school for children with special needs. We call on you to support our efforts to rehabilitate children at risk and to integrate them into Israeli society. Your help is very muchappreciated, and if you are ever in Israel, please come and visit us at any time. You don’t even have to make an appointment.
Other Ways You can Help
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