ATLANTA (Sep. 11)
“Over 150,000 children have been rescued and rehabilitated in Israel’s Youth Aliya movement since it was founded in 1934,” Beatrice Feldman, Hadassah national youth aliya chairman reported to the 2500 delegates meeting at Hadassah’s 60th annual National Convention at the Marriott Motor Hotel. Hadassah, which is the single largest contributor to Youth Aliya–whose first director was Henrietta Szold, founder of Hadassah–has contributed over $70 million to help maintain the 270 children’s villages and all-day centers which cared for 13,500 wards this year. Hadassah’s contribution to Youth Aliya in 1974 is close to $4 million.
Mrs. Feldman announced that a national leadership mission of Hadassah Youth Aliya chairmen will visit Israel in October to dedicate three all-day centers located in Tel Aviv, Lod and Jerusalem. She explained that these day centers are a departure from the traditional Youth Aliya residential children’s village, and are designed to reach city youth who are not prepared to leave their families. Educators, psychologists, sociologists and manpower experts throughout the world have visited Youth Aliya facilities to study the techniques and means developed there by Dr. Reuven Feuerstein, head of Youth Aliya’s Child Guidance Clinic in Jerusalem to reach teenagers with a variety of problems.
Youth Aliya children’s villages are different from similar facilities in the United States and other Western countries which care for deprived and/or troubled youth, Mrs. Feldman said. Youth Aliya has children of every socioeconomic level: new immigrants from 80 different countries, representing a variety of education backgrounds and cultures. Youth Aliya adapts to Israel’s needs. Its first wards were refugees from Hitler. Later it absorbed children from Arab lands. Today there are new immigrants from the Soviet Union and native-born Israelis from homes which, for one reason or another cannot provide adequately for them.