Project Spotlight: Israeli Boarding School Renovations
The Fellowship | January 23, 2018
Isaiah 1:17 tells us to “. . .Take up the cause of the fatherless,” letting us know that we have a responsibility to make sure all orphans are cared for and loved. Thankfully, The Fellowship is helping at-risk youth in Israel find a home despite the challenges they face.
In partnership with Israel’s Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs and the Israeli Public Forum for Youth Villages and Boarding Schools, The Fellowship has started to renovate 40 of the most run-down boarding schools across Israel. These buildings will be transformed into warm, secure homes for over 10,000 children in need. Many of these children arrive at the boarding schools directly from unsafe home environments and need immediate help fulfilling their most basic needs in order to get their lives back on track and to break the cycle of poverty. Many children are victims of abuse, assault, or neglect. In order to heal, they need to be provided a safe and loving home with adults who will care for and protect them.
Yet right now, these Israeli government-run boarding schools desperately need renovations. The nation’s boarding schools were privatized years ago and relied on private donations and state subsidies. Many of the boarding schools have fallen into disrepair over time and suffer from overcrowding and health and safety hazards. This massive national project will include critical upgrades inside and out, including the replacement of worn pipes, asbestos removal, and bringing the buildings up to modern conditions and safety standards.
“These young children are not responsible for the difficult circumstances they endure, and they deserve the best possible homes that we can provide,” said Rabbi Eckstein, after touring one of the buildings scheduled for repairs, the Neve Tzelim boarding school in Ramot Hashavim. “For many years, The Fellowship has sponsored orphans and children in boarding schools and provided them with clothing, school supplies, and summer activities. These boys and girls are a part of Israel’s continuity and we must all contribute generously to their wellbeing. This is not a donation, but an investment in the future of our society.”
The project to upgrade 40 of the most run-down boarding schools has already gotten underway, with renovations completed in 20 schools so far. The rest of the schools are undergoing extensive renovation, which will be completed in the coming months.