Aug. 1, 2014
A new Ezer Mizion program enables mentally ill, young, religious men to rehabilitate in a sheltered environment without giving up on their values.
The Cohen family experienced a saga of worry, distress, and deep challenge when their son Moshe, an 18-year-old yeshiva boy, went through a mental crisis. What bothered them most of all was the fact that he was left without a framework suitable for a yeshiva student. Moshe, who was an ordinary yeshiva bachur, required mental rehabilitation – that was not a matter of debate. But the Cohen family, who understood the importance of being in the right religious environment, would not compromise on the spiritual level of the place where Moshe would actualize his Rehabilitation Package entitlements.
In the goal of providing a proper response to the public’s heartfelt wishes, Ezer Mizion recently opened a rehabilitation framework for yeshiva boys. This would be a program where parents could send their children without religious concerns, assured that they are in a place that provides their rehabilitative needs but without compromising in any way on their spiritual needs.
The program, which begins at one in the afternoon, opens with a hot lunch and an equally warm encounter with the rehabilitation counselor. Next, the boys sit with Rabbi Zikinovsky and hear a Torah lecture. At the end of the lecture, the boys engage in work that was personally matched up to each one by the social worker who accompanies them and builds each one an individual rehabilitation program. The rehabilitation counselor is at their side while their work, guiding and supporting them, so that the rehabilitative goals will be fully achieved and so that any difficulty, problem, or request will be receive an optimum and timely response.
After the work session, the boys gather for a variety of group activities: joint conversations with the social worker, exercise, choir, and more.
Ezer Mizion reports a great deal of interest in the new project and in programs to expand the adapted program to the realm of social and leisure-time activity. “Based on our vast experience in the area of mental health and our familiarity with the individual needs of this unique group of rehabilitating clients, we intend to open a leisure-time program that will correspond to the Jewish life cycle. For example, Motzaei Shabbat (Saturday evening) in the wintertime, which currently are construed by them as long, boring evenings, will become fertile and refreshing interludes, through the Melave Malkas (parties)that we will organize. We know that for the sake of the boys’ future, we must continue to regard them as “yeshiva bachurim” in every way. This new framework is a professional rehabilitative facility that takes place in an environment that is suitable to them and from which they can G-d willing go on to resume functioning within the community, to a life of Torah and avodat Hashem (serving G-d).