How does a teenager from a difficult home break out of the cycle of despair?
How does a new immigrant youngster overcome the challenges of going from home to homeland?
THE VILLAGE. Since the establishment of the State of Israel, The Dr. Israel Goldstein Youth Village has been the stepping stone to a better life for thousands of teens ages 12-18. Located in Jerusalem, the Village currently houses over 300 middle and upper-school pupils, and another 200 external pupils.
Our students are multinational, coming from Ethiopia, the former Soviet Union, Turkey, Morocco, Israel and countries around the world. Students benefit from a quality academic, values-oriented, Jewish-Zionist education, a wide range of enrichment programs and 24/7 support and guidance from the Village’s dedicated staff. The broad spectrum of extra-curricular activities including swimming, fencing, dancing, classical, jazz and modern music instruction gives the students vital self-confidence, and the opportunity to develop their personal interests and talents. The critically acclaimed dance and theater troupes perform on a national level, talented musicians have placed in international competitions and two of the Village’s synchronized swimmers were 2012 Olympic contenders.
The Village also encompasses other smaller important schools and programs: The Magshimim School for severely autistic youth; short-term programs for Jewish Diaspora youth; a school for French-speakers; outstanding arts and sports programs an energy-efficient plant nursery and more.
Excellence in Education:
The Village’s schools emphasize the importance of passing the high school matriculation exams. This is the pupils’ key to a better future. The Remedial Learning Center provides critical tutoring and assistance, and motivates the students toward excellence. The results: over 90% of the students matriculate, and 80% complete high school with a full matriculation certificate.
For new immigrant pupils, the Village is their bridge to maintaining their identity as they acclimate to their new country. Through field trips, learning and experiencing the Jewish holidays and customs, participating in national holidays and living and learning side-by-side with their Israeli-born peers, the new immigrant students connect to their new homeland and become proud Israeli citizens.
Most youth at the village have experienced major challenges in life — poverty, abuse, neglect, and harsh encounters with anti-Semitism. At the Village, 200 personnel care for the pupils’ well-being and give them the love, attention and supportive community environment they need to flourish. The informal, open atmosphere inspires confidence in the students, a feeling of belonging, and trust between them and the Village staff.
Community Service, Social Activism, and Zionism
Social activism is an essential value at the Village. Every pupil volunteers for a minimum of three hours a week at either a home for the aged, in the civil guard, with Magen David Adom (Israel Red Cross) or with autistic youth who attend a special study program at the Village. The students learn how this is inspired by Zionist values. The result is that close to 100% enlist in the Israel Defense Forces, with many opting to serve in combat units.
Art, sports, music, drama, dance and computer enrichment programs are held in the afternoons, evenings, weekends, and holidays. This is considered a key component of the Village’s offerings to its students. These inspire self-confidence, connection, and provide critical outlets for self-expression, creativity, and the development of a great deal of talent.
Since 1949, the Village has been home to Jewish teens, religious and secular, from over 30 countries. Each pupil brings his/her unique cultural customs. Together, the students learn from and about each other, and learn to live together in harmony and tolerance.