Impacting ALL Areas of Israeli Society
The work that began at Yemin Orde decades ago is now impacting Israel in ways previously unimaginable. Over the past 15 years, the Village Way methodology has been implemented with other at-risk youth populations in Israel, including Druze, Bedouin, and Arab Israelis. However, one less obvious place is within the Haredi, or ultra-Orthodox, community. And Seminar Beit Yaakov Tehila is just one example of that.
Beit Yaakov Tehila is an ultra-orthodox high school for at-risk girls in Haifa. For the 90 girls in this community, this is an opportunity to overcome their challenges and learn in a more welcoming environment. For example, Lilah*, a 10th grader, often felt shamed in her home community for her tendency to draw art that many Haredim would consider provocative (see illusration above). As a result, she lacked confidence and possessed a pessimistic outlook that trickled into other areas of her life. It was clear she was struggling and needed a change of environment.
In other ultra-orthodox schools in Israel, Lilah’s drawings would get her expelled. But, at Tehila, the Village Way-trained educators used this hobby as an opportunity for empowerment. Following the Village Way component Tikkun Ha'Lev and its subcomponent "experiences of success," they invited her to illustrate their new school magazine, a massive project of the entire student body.
After some time, Lilah gained confidence, started to be less defensive with the educators, and became more receptive to their desire to see her succeed.
Lilah continues to be the resident artist at Tehila. With the help of her educators, she is going through a process of personal development, gaining the skills she needs to succeed as a young adult.
*name has been changed for privacy