In response to a need within the community in addition to a request from the Health Ministry, a program is being developed to provide unique rehabilitative occupational frameworks for young people.
To date, interviews were conducted with 10 boys attending a private Yeshiva framework (Yisrael Weintraub) geared for mentally ill teenagers in the morning and an additional two applicants referred to us from elsewhere. These boys are referred to Ezer Mizion as needing a complementary framework for the afternoon hours .
Based on the needs identified by the referring agents, on the personal interviews conducted, on meetings with the parents, and on cumulative knowledge and experience, a program has been constructed that provides a rehabilitative, occupational, Torah framework for the boys. The program will operate from 1:00 to 5:30 p.m.
Background about Existing Services Today and Details of the New Program:
At Ezer Mizion’s Center for Rehabilitation and Training for Men, the following occupational divisions are currently in operation:
• Sheltered work facility
• The “Sounds of the Soul” Musical Arts Center
• Life Skills Center
• Supported work program
The Life Skills Center provides a response for rehabilitating men with low occupational and functional-personal capabilities.
Activity at the Center combines work with occupational workshops and various groups that help the rehabilitating men develop functional, personal, and interpersonal capabilities, while also honing their occupational skills. Today, a significant portion of the rehabilitating men at the Center are adults coping with long years of mental problems and functional challenges.
In order to provide a suitable framework for the unique population of young chareidi men, yeshiva boys, who learn Torah subjects in the morning hours, we are planning the launching of another shift of activity at the Life Skills Center. This would offer a response for young men maintaining a chareidi lifestyle, who prefer to integrate into a yeshiva-type framework, similar to their contemporaries in the normative populations. At the same time, they need a framework where they can rebuild their identity in light of their mental illness, acquire functional and interpersonal skills, and try out the work world so as to prepare them to later integrate into the job market, should they choose to do so or, alternately, to continue in the yeshiva framework.
The details of the program are as follows:
Young men, ages 18-30, struggling with mental illness and recognized by the Rehabilitation Package as having a level of 40% disability, who maintain a chareidi lifestyle and are integrated in a yeshiva learning program in various community frameworks in the morning.
Objectives of the program:
The Life Skills Center aims to help rehabilitating individuals rebuild their lives and their identity in the shadow of their mental illness, by helping them acquire tools and skills in various areas and providing them with work experience, while maintaining a chareidi lifestyle.
Areas of activity:
• Work in the various workshops at the Occupational Center
• Enhancement of interpersonal skills
• Attaining awareness of self, of abilities, of potential, and of skills
• Torah classes and writing on Torah subjects
• Computer skills and daily functioning
Activity hours and location:
The activities will take place at the Men’s Occupational and Training Center from 1 to 5:30 in the afternoon.
Service Director – Elad Milo
Program Social Worker – Yosef Shaibi
Torah Department – Rabbi Zikinovsky
Counselor – Eliyahu Lintop
Workshops will be held in the following areas:
Torah lecture, Torah writing, stigma, dealing with illness and convalescence, choir, computers, sports, and more.
1:00 -1:30 Lunch
1:30-2:00 Lecture by Rabbi Zikinovsky
2:00-4:00 Occupational work
4:00-5:30 Group work according to interest and ability