December 31, 2008 / 4 Tevet 5769
Jewish Agency Chairman Visits Southern Residents and Offers Financial Assistance
Jewish Agency Chairman visits Sahiban, wounded Monday in Ashkelon, and provides him with financial aid
Zeev Bielski visits victims, absorption centers in South
Today Jewish Agency Chairman Zeev Bielski visited communities in the range of missiles from Gaza and met with mayors of Ashkelon, Sderot and Netivot to learn about their needs and offer assistance.
He then visited the wounded at Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon, one of whom was Maid Abu Sahiban, aged 20 from Rahat, who was wounded together with his brother by a Grad missile on Monday. Bielski offered him financial aid to assist his recovery.
Later, he visited the five Jewish Agency absorption centers in the range of fire, where over 1,000 newly arrived immigrants from around the world are residing, and learned how they are coping with daily anxieties.
Training Staff at Absorption Centers in the South
Staff members learn how to cope with crisis
Staff training for handling emergency situations at an absorption center in the South
On Monday and Tuesday the Jewish Agency held training sessions for the staff at absorption centers in Beer Sheva and Ashdod. Training was conducted in collaboration with Mashabim, an NGO which specializes in coping with trauma.
Lectures were given to 40 members of staff from the absorption centers, including directors, cultural coordinators, social workers and security officers. Additional social workers from the center of Israel were brought to assist the absorption centers under fire.
Yesterday, as the lectures were given to the staff of Absorption Centers in Beer Sheva, no one thought they would need to use the knowledge they learned. Unfortunately, that reality changed last night as the first missiles fell in Be'er Sheva.
Jewish Agency staff has organized a post trauma counseling program, based on innovative therapy methods to deal with crisis and stress. The staff of each absorption center will participate in several sessions, which will also strengthen social cohesiveness and create a support network for the workers during these difficult times. Since the crisis started, the absorption centers are staffed 24 hours a day, to help the new immigrants overcome their fears, instruct them on how to act once the siren is heard and organize activities for the children in the shelters.
Babayit Beyachad - Hosting Families from the South
Hundreds of families offer to host traumatized families from the south
Over 300 families from the north and center of Israel have opened their homes to host families who live in the range of fire. Offers continue to pour in every day.
The extensive experience of the Babayit Beyachad staff enables them to supervise and operate the program most effectively. All families, both guests and hosts, are interviewed by the program staff, to enable optimal matches of the families and ensure a pleasurable stay.