Walking into 53 Rechov Kadima, one can feel a sense of peace, warmth, acceptance and a taste of "home". When walking into the dorms, it is common to hear girls sitting together, playing guitar, singing, chatting and having a good time. The girls in the dormitory know that they have a place to call their own: to grow, to develop, to question, to ponder and to build themselves into the incredible human beings they each are. We view each girl as a gem yearning to shine; each just needs the right setting to be able to do so.
Girls at our dormitory come from challenging backgrounds which have compromised their abilities, challenged their self-esteem and stunted their emotional growth. Many of the girls do not know what it feels like to actually feel comfortable, emotionally safe and able to just be themselves. Without a secure and stable place in which to be, most remain in "survival mode": emotionally, psychologically, physically, and even spiritually.
Olamot’s dormitory is the foundation of our service. It provides these young women with comfortable living conditions and a warm environment – things most cannot take for granted. Our staff, from counselors to social workers, is present and on hand, physically and emotionally to assist, support and guide our girls: enabling them to open up on their way forward.
Beyond a welcome home, Olamot works to help each girl prepare for the future, by addressing her emotional distress and the behaviors that impact her choices and prospects for the future; while assisting her in gaining the professional and educational skills that she will need to move forward. (Click here to see how our dorm’s team of specialists works).
Therapy has been a staple that has been giving our girls the basic skills to rebuild themselves. While many girls are often mistrustful of therapy (and the stigma they may associate with it) at first, all eventually come to see its importance in helping them build a strong core to face the world and the challenges they will face along the road.
The majority of each young girl’s education is undertaken at our high school, to which the dormitory offers regular, scheduled transportation. (We do not let our girls go off unaccompanied.) In parallel, however, as each girl progresses through matriculation exams, our counselors are on hand to help them identify relevant vocational training and employment opportunities.
At the same time, a great deal of enrichment activity is undertaken as part of our night program, in which our girls all join together after a long day of school and/or work. Together with their counselor, girls sit together, sharing stories of their events of the day, providing support and encouragement to one another. This peer-supportive environment is a fundamental part of our program; and one which it is the aim of our counselors to foster. Following this, young women will take part in the evening activities, which range from enrichment classes (cosmetics, karate, cooking, lifeguarding) to the yiddishkeit classes designed to deepen their understanding and appreciation for religious life.