Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

10 Shevat 5766 - February 8, 2006 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










Produced and housed by
Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Deputy Minister Rabbi Ravitz Surveys Prisoner Rehabilitation Program

By G. Kleiman

Deputy Welfare Minister MK Rabbi Avrohom Ravitz, who serves as commissioner of the Prisoner Rehabilitation Authority, was recently hosted by the Authority. Chairman Shlomo Bakish presented Rabbi Ravitz with a survey of the activities run by the Authority, which handled 2,344 prisoners and their families last year.

Statistics show the longer discharged prisoners were under intensive Prisoner Authority supervision, the more effective the rehabilitation and the greater the change.

The programs presented included programs for community rehabilitation consisting primarily of a referral for rehabilitation and employment under the supervision of the local rehabilitation coordinator. Among the other programs were hostels, including one for women.

Bakish thanked Rabbi Ravitz for the recent budget increase he arranged. Rabbi Ravitz promised he would try to increase the budget further in upcoming budget talks.

Rabbi Avinoam Cohen, coordinator of Torah-based rehabilitation, said since the Prisoner Rehabilitation Authority began involvement in this approach three years ago very high rehabilitation rates have been achieved. "Dozens of prisoners are asking us for help in rehabilitating themselves, but the meager budget does not allow us to take care of everyone," said Rabbi Cohen.

During a visit to the Keren Hatshuvah apartment, one of the organizations the Prisoner Authority has commissioned to run rehabilitation programs, Welfare Ministry officials saw former prisoners learning mussar, middos tovos and derech eretz along with their Torah studies.

Today the former prisoners taking part in this program keep Torah and mitzvos in every way. Rabbi Yoel Chazon, chairman of the Keren Hatshuvah organization founded by his late father, who served as rov of the Prisons Service, said great care is taken to shape the conduct of the program participants.

Graduates say the program saved their lives. "Today, thanks to the treatment, I have a family I raise based on Torah," said M. "I see how empty my life was previously and I'm happy I was given the opportunity to meet fabulous people who spared no effort to bring me back to life."

Rabbi Ravitz told the people on hand he was glad to have a chance to meet with them and happy to see they have made a commitment to rehabilitate themselves and are meeting their commitment. Regarding the lack of funds to open a second apartment Rabbi Ravitz said, "It cannot be that an individual wants to be a man and is not given the opportunity. We must find the funding to allow the opening of another apartment like this apartment and yeshiva."


All material on this site is copyrighted and its use is restricted.
Click here for conditions of use.