DENVER (Aug. 29)
Youth aliya, with the help of Hadassah, will build two day centers in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem at a cost of about $1 million to care for immigrant children and children from underprivileged homes, it was announced by Mrs. Bea Feldman, Hadassah national youth aliya chairman, in a report to the 59th annual national convention of the women’s Zionist organization.
Mrs. Feldman said that one center would be located in the Ir Ganim quarter of Jerusalem which is populated mainly by families from North Africa. It will cost $600,000 to build and will be named for Faye L. Schenk, immediate past president of Hadassah. The other center will be built on the outskirts of Tel Aviv near Lod Airport at a cost of about $400,000. The lower cost will be possible by prefabricated construction which is prohibited in Jerusalem where the building code requires construction with native stones.
Mrs. Feldman said, “We hope to keep the two Hadassah youth aliya centers open evenings as well as days so that we can reach the parents, the brothers and the sisters and the neighbors of the teenagers with whom we work during the day.” She said that another new Hadassah-sponsored program will provide mental health in-service training of youth aliya personnel in day centers throughout Israel.
FIRST STAGE IN LARGE CITIES
The Jerusalem and Ir Ganim centers will be the first in large cities. Ir Ganim, she said, is in the heart of an are where ultra-Orthodox immigrants from North Africa settled right after Israel’s independence in 1948 and were housed in mass produced cottages described as “instant slums.” Later they were joined by Orthodox immigrants from Europe who also got poor housing. To these have been added immigrants from the Soviet Union who are presently coming to Israel. These families will be served by the new day center, Mrs. Feldman said.
Also to be served are families in nearby Kiryat Hayovel, some Orthodox and some non-religious, who settled there in the 1950s. The more successful settlers have since moved away leaving behind a hard core of poverty, Mrs. Feldman said. She said another group to benefit from the new center will be immigrant families who moved into the ruined Arab village of Moicho immediately after Israel’s War for, Independence.
“Many of the children of these areas have made good in the educational race. But there are still thousands of children who lag behind and ultimately , abandon it completely. Now we hope that the day centers will give these children the necessary education to put them on a level with their peers,” Mrs. Feldman said.