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Every night young Jewish girls from a variety of backgrounds roam the streets of Jerusalem, wondering where they can safely spend the night.

Estranged from family, they soon find themselves penniless, struggling with homelessness, drugs, alcohol, and worse. Vulnerable and alone, they easily fall prey to anyone showing an interest in them and are frequently the victims of physical and sexual abuse. Until recently there have been few other options available to these girls.

Founded in 2004 and run by a dedicated team of professionals under the auspices of rabbis, Aishel offers girls ages 14-22 a safe, clean place to sleep, three nourishing meals a day and other basic items, psychological counseling, and help to receive vocational training. The girls are helped to confront the issues that led to their present situation, and are gently and lovingly aided to turn their lives around, become productive members of society, reconcile with their families and return to religious observance.

THE REHABILITATION PROCESS

Most girls arrive unannounced after hearing about Aishel by word of mouth or via referral by professional organizations. They are welcomed by the house mother and told what the home will offer them and what we demand in return. Their responsibilities include observing a curfew, honoring our strict policy of no drugs or alcohol and no contact with boys in the home, and contributing to the home's maintenance.

If they agree to commit to the program, they are welcome to join the Aishel family. After a short acclimation period, an individually structured plan is drawn up for each girl with the assistance of the staff.

 

Each girl's individualized rehabilitation program will include some or all of the following elements: group and/or individual therapy, education or vocational training, coaching in social skills, hobbies, and other activities. The types of issues typically dealt with include broken homes, domestic violence, anorexia, bulimia, drug/alcohol abuse, promiscuity, rape and teen-age pregnancy.

The period of residence in the home varies from several days to several months. Because leaving too early can undo all the good accomplished during their stay, we try to err on the side of caution and keep the girls until we are confident that they can reintegrate into mainstream society and succeed as well balanced adults. To date, we have helped hundreds of girls turn their lives around.

 
     
 
 
     
  The cost of rehabilitating one girl in the program is $950 per month. For this relatively low amount, we are saving precious Jewish girls from the streets.  

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