Project for Illiterate and Semi-literate Jewish Girls

Ye’elim Absorption Centre in Beer Sheva, Southern Israel, houses a number of families who have arrived in Israel after fleeing Yemen and Tunisia because of serious threats to their lives.

Many of the girls in these families have their own personal story and have not attended school before coming to Israel and they therefore lack all learning skills. At the absorption centre where they are now, they receive orientation sessions where they are taught learning skills and basic Hebrew.
They have arrived in great poverty, with no personal belongings. Most of them came with their families, though many are orphaned from either mother or father.
After often experiencing severe violence, many of the girls have arrived in Israel following family tragedies.

One of the families consists of a mother with 9 children from Yemen. Up until 5 years ago, they were a respected Jewish family; the father being a shochet and teacher in the Jewish community. 5 years ago, the father was brutally murdered on his doorstep, through an act of anti-Semitism. The family was shattered as was the entire Jewish community. The mother couldn’t leave Yemen before pressing charges against the murderer. She decided to smuggle the 5 oldest children to Israel, because of the fear of kidnapping by Muslims. After pressing charges, which took 4 years, the mother made aliyah to Israel with her 4 younger children and was finally reunited with the others. This family is still in mourning and is finding difficulties in functioning normally. The mother lives in the Ye’elim absorption centre with her 9 children, aged 5 – 19.

Another family is one where the mother was widowed after her husband was murdered in Yemen 2 years ago. She made aliyah with her 2 girls.

The Project is made up of three groups.
Group 1, for girls aged 14 – 18. This groups is divided into one group of ten girls from Tunisia and ten from Yemen.
Group 2, 14 girls aged 18 20 who are young mothers. The vocational training includes accounting and management, clerical training and nursing (for the elderly and for young children). The training is short and lasts a year.
Group 3, 24 girls in need of a bursary/grant, aged 14 – 18. The grant includes the girls’ general maintenance (food, clothing, basic necessities and learning materials).

There is an additional group of approx. 20 girls aged 6-14 who also attend elementary school in Israel by law. These girls are currently not included in the project. If we can raise enough funds in the future, we would like to put in place a project for the younger age group.