Youth Villages | The Jewish Agency - U.S.Youth Villages

Youth Villages

Homes and Services for At-Risk Youth

Youth Villages

With distinct programs to help young people coping with severe emotional, behavioral, and familial challenges, The Jewish Agency for Israel's Youth Villages are invaluable facilities that provide much-needed intervention and healing.

One of the most pressing social problems facing Israel today is the sharp increase in the number of youth at risk. Through therapeutic intervention and a holistic, multi-disciplinary educational approach, The Jewish Agency’s Youth Villages (listed below) help these kids get back on track.

Ben Yakir Youth Village, near Hadera, was founded in 1974 and serves 90 adolescent boys, most of whom are immigrants from Ethiopia. The village provides a wide range of therapies and social services — including therapeutic horseback riding, sports and music — with an emphasis on independence, Jewish values, and reaching one’s potential.

Kiryat Ye’arim Youth Village, outside Jerusalem, was founded in 1952; today most of its 110 residents, in grades 7-12, are from Ethiopia. Course offerings include graphic design, film and agriculture; students also engage in therapeutic horseback riding. Kiryat Yearim’s wide array of enrichment programming includes: “Kol Kore” (an experiential literacy program that helps new immigrants bridge language gaps), jewelry workshops, photography, sports and music, cooking, carpentry and gardening classes.

Hadassah Ne’urim Youth Village, near Netanya, was founded in 1948 and today is home to more than 400 adolescents, both native-born Israelis and olim from the Former Soviet Union (FSU) and Ethiopia. Hadassah Ne’urim’s programs include, among others: sound and audio workshops; surfing; animal therapy; pre-army preparation; and carpentry.

Ramat Hadassah Youth Village, southeast of Haifa, was founded in 1949. The majority of its 280 residents are from Ethiopia and the FSU; most live in the periphery area of the Galilee. The village places a particular focus on teaching values and runs many programs on volunteering, personal responsibility and preparation for army service. Special programs include sports, hip-hop dance, and jewelry-making.

Neve Midbar is a Youth Village and residential high school that caters to several dozen Bedouin teens from southern Israel, who study core academic subjects, agriculture and ecology, in an environment that respects Bedouin culture, builds leadership and fosters the values of the state of Israel: democracy, equality, civics, and social activism.

Mimidbar Matanah is a Youth Village for boys aged 14-16 from Ultra-Orthodox families, who have dropped out of the yeshiva school system and need a nurturing alternative. The youth village combines religious Jewish studies with appropriate secular coursework.

Watch Olympian Anat Lelior visit Hadassah Neurim Surf Ranch and talk to students: