Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

7 Shevat 5761 - January 31, 2001 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Tvunot Family Resource Center Opens in Jerusalem
by Yonina Hall

In a long-awaited development on the Israeli social services scene, a new community-based resource center now addresses the specific needs of the English-speaking religious population.

Operating with the haskomo of gedolei Yisroel, Tvunot (Insights) Family Resource Center provides a diverse range of services, including professional child and family counselling, specialized educational guidance, school- based intervention, new immigrant support services, and parental guidance, in a comfortable, confidential setting.

"We want to provide a central address for English-speaking parents who are experiencing family challenges, yet don't know where to turn for solutions," explains the director of the new center, which is located in central Jerusalem.

"For example, a young boy or girl may be presenting a discipline problem at home or at school. Alternately, a child might be suffering from learning or social disabilities. Symptoms such as these may signal stress or adjustment difficulties in the life of the child, the parents, or the family itself. If the family are also olim, their adjustment process may be that much more difficult."

Raising a family in a foreign culture, far from familiar support systems, often leaves parents feeling frightened and frustrated when they seek help for their more serious family challenges. With its multifaceted treatment program and all- English- speaking staff, Tvunot eliminates the typical "runaround" endured by English-speaking parents who want to know, "Where do we find this type of testing?" or, "Who does this type of therapy?"

Tvunot also represents a unique departure from standard Israeli social services. Operating from the standpoint of early prevention, the center's therapists try to identify problems in their beginning stages. After assessing areas that could be treated successfully, therapists access a variety of treatment options to improve functioning in school and at home. Services are provided on a subsidized basis when necessary.

Interacting with teachers and administrators in the Israeli educational systems is the number-one handicap of English- speaking parents. If a child is not functioning well in school for an extended period of time, Tvunot's special educational advisor will accompany parents directly into the school to support, translate, and facilitate mutual understanding and decision-making.

New immigrant support services are a long overdue addition to Israel's community resource scene. At Tvunot, new olim can discuss their specific educational and psychological needs with a trained counselor. They will also receive guidance on issues such as school placement and adjustment, communication between parents and schools, and parent-child communication.

To supplement its core counselling services, Tvunot promotes English-language parenting courses. The group workshops are designed to help participants improve their parenting skills, build self-confidence, and acquire the ability to spot possible learning disabilities in their children at an early age.

"We want to create a model center of multifaceted, preventative services which can be adapted for use by the Israeli-born population, as well as by the international Jewish community," the director notes.

For more information, please contact Mrs. Rena Orlowek or Mrs. Rivka Friedlander at 02-537-7697; e-mail: medwed@el-


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