The visit began with Yossi’s greetings at the front entrance and sharing information about the youth village over lunch.
We then sat in Yossi’s office while he discussed in more detail the running of the youth village, the challenges of the youth who receive treatment there, and of course the support and partnership of WIZO Australia which is so crucial. The devotion of the staff is remarkable. We heard that each child’s weekends away from Ahuzat are coordinated in order for him/her to experience a family setting. Even if there is no “foster” weekend family for a particular child, the staff take it upon themselves to host the child for Shabbat/holidays.
Other than Elyane, none of the other guests had visited before. We toured around the grounds and went into the girls dorm, downstairs to the Shabbat house, and even saw the new industrial washing machines in operation, the pet corner, Ahuza Haketana, the music room, the gym room and the new outdoor sports area (in the very final stages of completion).
In Ahuza Haketana a 9 year old boy was working on a science assignment. He had a large black board with gold flecks on it and had built a dome in the middle of the board. He is part of a youth competition at the Technion. Hard to imagine a child coming from such a troubled background being able to devote his talents to science in a calm and safe environment.
While Yossi was speaking to us in his office Albert Cohen (Elyane’s son in law) was very moved by what he was hearing.
He said that he knew his mother in law was very active in WIZO, but never in his wildest imagination did he realize that she was part of something so fantastic. I encouraged him to share his enthusiasm with his friends.