In addition to vocational trainings, life-skills workshops, and employment preparation courses, our participants are offered many educational and enrichment courses, including art, photography, music, creative writing, cooking and more. Our range of classes gives participants the opportunity to creatively express themselves while gaining self-esteem and confidence in their abilities. These in-house classes are well-attended and the young women report that they are proud and excited to nurture their talents and interests through these opportunities.
Additionally, participants can choose to learn about Jewish spirituality, life and practice through our Judaic classes (which include Jewish texts, Jewish music, art projects, and creative writing) and discussion groups. We also host Shabbat meals and Jewish holiday celebrations for our participants. We have found that for many of our participants, the psychological and emotional journey to creating a stable life is integrally intertwined with renewing and strengthening one's Jewish identity. Discovering one's roots and renewing one's identity develops resiliency, a trait deemed necessary in successfully changing one's habits.
We also conduct weekly group meetings with all Home residents in order to discuss a number of topics and to lead self-reflection exercises. They also engage in social rehabilitation through our lessons on conflict resolution and effective communication skills.
Through our classes, programs, and therapies we endeavor to impart skills and tools that help the young women get back on their feet and transform their futures. The complete program lasts 18 months with individual progress measured every three months. Twenty-five women have graduated from the program since it began in 2009 and Hut HaMeshulash has ongoing contact with all of them. Our graduates report that they feel much better equipped to navigate the challenges ahead and build an independent life for themselves and their families.