Breaking the cycle of distress

The Bet Sabah Elazraki Children’s Home changes lives. That is not an exaggeration, but a daily reality for the past 50 year

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BREAKING THE CYCLE OF DISTRESS
BREAKING THE CYCLE OF DISTRESS
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BREAKING THE CYCLE OF DISTRESS

The Bet Sabah Elazraki Children’s Home changes lives. That is not an exaggeration, but a daily reality for the past 50 years. Now, for the first time in its history, the Home needs our help to continue creating a secure and successful future for its children and adults.

The scent of fabric softener – that’s the first thing you encounter when entering Bet Sabah Elazraki in Netanya, which has been changing lives for the past 50 years. Over 200 children at-risk reside there, accompanied 24/7 by the faculty – dedicated national service girls, supervisors, instructors and therapists alongside housekeeping and administrative staff.

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Every year, we send dozens of graduates off to start a new chapter of their lives as they go on to serve in elite IDF units, study at universities, acquire master’s degrees, fill workplace positions, get married and become loving parents to beautiful children of their own. And of course, we are with them every step of the way. They all have one thing in common – they broke the cycle of distress into which they were born thanks to Bet Sabah Elazraki.

Upon arriving at the gate, we are warmly welcomed by Yehuda Kohn who, together with his wife Rikki, has been running the Children’s Home for over 30 years. We asked Yehuda about the Children’s Home and why they are launching a fundraising campaign now. “We were shocked when we realized that the cycle of distress is perpetuated from one generation to the next”, said Yehuda as he recalled how he and his wife first arrived at the Children’s Home. They met ~40 children, some of them siblings, who are the second and third generation of living in distress. “We immediately realized that we must reinvent ourselves and create something that is much more than a babysitting service or temporary haven for these children in need”. Indeed, as the years went by, the Children’s Home developed a life transforming model based on 4 elements – stability, academic support, emotional care and social reinforcement. “A great deal of work is invested here”, say Yossi Dirnstein, Vice Principal and Avia Rosenwasser, Head of the Educational Team, who joined the discussion. “We don’t limit our perspective to what is good for the kids here and now. We think about the kind of adults they will grow up to be, the parents that they will be, and the extent to which they will contribute to society. To this end, being the ‘staff’ is not enough. Working here means assuming

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the responsibility of ‘parenting’. To us, being here for the children at any moment and forever – that is the meaning of parenthood”.

To achieve this task, the Children’s Home receives generous support of gracious people from Israel and abroad, all of whom are part of the Home’s mission and success story.

CHILDREN WHO MUST NOT BE DESERTED

Then came the Coronavirus. “We were always able to be there for our children and graduates, because we had supporters who were there for us”, Yehuda clarifies. “Thanks to their funding, aside from supporting our current children, we financially supported our soldiers, paid tuition for the university students and helped finance weddings and milestone events. Now Corona came along and turned everything upside down, decreasing our donations by 75%. This is both due to the economic crisis that has rendered charitable donations a luxury, and because we cannot travel abroad to raise funds from various communities, and they cannot come to visit us here in Israel either to see our work firsthand. For the first time in years, we cannot conduct our annual fundraiser, which financed a large portion of our activities”. So, if you were wondering what the online campaign is for, here’s the answer – to continue to be there for our children and graduates, we simply have no choice.

Our support for our graduates was always our strength at

Bet Sabah Elazraki. Just as parenthood does not stop at age 18, neither does our work. The ability to continue supporting our children after they physically leave the walls of our Home is what truly sets us apart. That ability is sadly now in danger, and the campaign is intended to save this

incredibly vital part of our mission. “In critical times like today, we cannot let the children fall, and every amount that is raised has fateful meaning”, says Yehuda in closing. “Please join us this Wednesday and Thursday and together, we will change our children’s lives”.

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