AKLA, a play on the Hebrew time period for “superior,” is a brand new group for bar and bat mitzvah college students supposed to introduce them, face-to-face, to Jewish contributions to native and international society.
AKLA is led by Jeff Polak, president and govt director of the David and Janet Polak Basis, which shaped in 2012 to help Israel, the American Jewish neighborhood and different causes. In an interview, Polak mentioned he “needed to create a program that might encourage and get children enthusiastic about what takes place within the Jewish neighborhood. I need them to know the affect the Jewish neighborhood has on so many important segments of our society. Most b’nai mitzvah programming I noticed was extra about societal points exterior of the Jewish neighborhood.”
The AKLA course spans 5 Sundays, and the opening spherical started in October. The inaugural cohort of two dozen college students made 5 stops with an accompanying theme: Skirball Cultural Middle (tech, start-up nation), Annenberg Neighborhood Seashore Home (safety), Cedars-Sinai Medical Middle (medical), Broad Stage (arts and media), and the Simon Wiesenthal Middle (assembly with a Holocaust survivor).
Polak’s major aim is for the 12- and 13-year-olds to see and digest the affect Jews have on important segments of society.
“I used to be excited,” Polak mentioned, “that at this age, when children are beginning to set their very own course, for them to know they will make a distinction on the earth by attaining in all completely different paths. Youngsters see tv and so they see motion pictures. However do they perceive the formation of this complete trade was developed by Jewish immigrants? That is just one of many paths that our bnai mitzvah cohorts will expertise to make a distinction on the earth.”
AKLA advisory board members embody impartial producer Tonia Barber, educator Samara Hutman, Jewish Neighborhood Basis of Los Angeles Chair Evan Schlessinger, Journal Writer David Suissa and Rabbi Lori Shapiro. New functions are being accepted for the upcoming session, which begins Feb. 26 and continues by way of March 19.
For added data, go to https://aklausa.org
Yeshiva College has launched a brand new psychological well being remedy middle in Israel.
Filling a crucial want for inexpensive, English-language psychological well being providers in Israel, YU’s Wurzweiler Faculty of Social Work partnered with Amudim Israel, a corporation devoted to serving neighborhood members at occasions of disaster, in opening the Jerusalem Remedy Middle in late October.
The middle is staffed by Wurzweiler graduate college students, graduates and different psychological well being professionals who specialize within the therapy of hysteria, habit and trauma. The middle has a number of remedy rooms in addition to a classroom to satisfy affected person and pupil wants.
“Wurzweiler is exclusive in its means to each educate the subsequent era of psychological
well being professionals and supply a lot wanted and high-level providers to our neighborhood in Israel,” YU Provost and Vice President of Tutorial Affairs Selma Botman mentioned in a press release. “That is an distinctive alternative to connect with YU’s bigger mission of serving the wants of these dwelling in Israel.”
The middle will primarily serve the English-speaking immigrant neighborhood in Israel, together with hole yr college students away from house for the primary time and new olim adjusting to life in an unfamiliar nation. Sometimes, hole yr college students usually are not coated for psychological well being counseling by the vacationer or short-term medical health insurance, and the middle will present very important, inexpensive, high quality psychological well being care to this very important inhabitants, in response to YU.
A current psychological well being expo in Jerusalem, co-organized by the YU Wurzweiler Faculty, drew greater than 1,500 attendees. The success of the occasion was one of many catalysts for the institution of the brand new middle.
In accordance with Nechama Munk, director of YU’s Wurzweiler Faculty of Social Work Israel Program, good psychological well being providers have by no means been extra needed. Research present anxiousness and melancholy on the rise for the reason that begin of the pandemic, and whereas COVID-19 didn’t essentially create new psychological well being points, it definitely exacerbated present difficulties, she mentioned.
“Our neighborhood is in actual want of psychological well being providers,” Munk mentioned. “One in all our primary values is to assist these in want, and the Remedy Middle can be right here to supply reduction and hope. Getting good, inexpensive therapy is difficult for all Israelis, and much more so when your mom tongue isn’t Hebrew.”