The vision of Lamerhav is to bring about comprehensive social change through multidimensional, intensive, and long-lasting intervention in the lives of young Israeli adults from low socio-economic backgrounds who lack a family support network, with a view to helping them break through the academic, professional, and social glass ceilings they face, and to ensure their integration into Israeli society as active and independent citizens who contribute to that society and themselves act as agents of social change.
Over its 16 years in operation the organization has developed an intervention and support model that has been transforming the lives of hundreds of young adults who lack a family support network and helping them find hope for a secure future and opportunities that are equal to those of their peers. The end of 2017 saw the conclusion of a process of transforming Lamerhav into a leading professional infrastructure organization in the field of young adults who lack a family support network.
The goal we set out to achieve was for the organization to function as the go-to professional organization for all those working with this population, and as a clearinghouse of information and support services for all young adults in Israel, as well as for the professionals supporting them and social and public-sector organizations in this field.
Contributing to this success was the continuing leadership of the Mozes Wolfowitz Foundation and the many strong and supportive partnerships without whom we would not have been able to realize our vision:
1) Together with the Ackerstein Family Fund, we developed the strategic process of creating a professional infrastructure organization and cooperation across various sectors of Israeli society.
2) Together with the Fred Isaac Fund and JDC-Ashalim (sponsored by the Ministry of Social Services) and through the Yated Program we expanded our infrastructure and founded the Center for Cooperation, Information and Applied Development, whose goal is to provide services, information, and knowledge for Yated’s social workers (during the pilot stage), and for all organizations working with young adults at-risk (in subsequent years).
3) Together with Bank Leumi, we developed the financial guidance model for young adults who lack a family support network – a unique and innovative model, which provides tools for wise, responsible, and forward-looking financial behavior, developed by examining the young adult’s perceptions, behaviors, and beliefs about money.
4) Together with Ben Gurion University and Sapir College, we held a first of its kind academic conference Young Adults At-Risk in Israel: Policy, Research, and Practice”. The conference was attended by researchers from around the country and the world, working in fields related to young adults, such as social integration, employment and careers, and more.
5) Together with the Erez Family, we developed employment models and enabled young adults to pursue higher education in STEM fields.
6) Together with leading Israeli philanthropists, government ministries, and private sector partners, we continued to develop the “Working Together” project – the tri-sector initiative for promoting the integration of at-risk young adults into employment in southern Israel.
7) Together with the Diane and Guilford Glazer Philanthropies, the Ministry of Education, and the Rural Education Administration, we initiated “Moving Towards Independence” – a program that provides mentoring for young adults who lack a family support network and are in residence in out-of-home educational placements (state boarding schools). Currently the program is in operation in three schools and aims to provide support, knowledge, and tools, and engender a sense of confidence in young adults nearing their graduation from high school, as they depart educational settings and advance towards meaningful military or national service.
8) Together with the National Forum of Organizations for At-risk Young Adults and with the support of the Diane and Guilford Glazer Philanthropies and the Gandyr Foundation, we have expanded the Forum’s scope, increased the CEO position to a full time one, developed an organizational management course for managers of organizations working with young adults, and held workshops on topics such as sexuality, realization of governmental and social security rights, and more.
9) Together with the Glencore Foundation for Education and Welfare, the Arison foundation, the Rogoff Fund, the Lion of Judah-Israel, and additional private donors, we awarded Lamerhav young adult participants with academic scholarships, stipends, occupational training, workshops, and individually tailored mentoring
More Exciting Developments in 2017!
This year we took the important step of launching our new website. Lamerhav’s innovative and professional site showcases the varied activities of the organization, the Lamerhav Houses, research and specialized material regarding young adults, our graduates’ blog, partnerships, and more. Please visit us at www.lamerhav.co.il
Behind the development of the new website is the story of Kobi, a young man without any family support and who has come full circle with Lamerhav. Kobi has been a Lamerhav participant for eight years, was highly motivated and driven, and experienced a tremendous amount of personal and professional growth as a result of the program, and led him to a career in website design. When we decided to redesign and relaunch the website, it was clear who we were going to hire. Together with Kobi, we fulfilled a mutual dream and shared a part of ourselves with the world.
Looking Forward to 2018-2019
The year 2017 was characterized by organizational innovation and realizing strategic processes. This ongoing process began with identifying the need for the organization to adapt itself to a technology-driven, dynamic, and ever-changing world, both with regards to media, branding, and marketing, as well as cooperation across the various sectors of Israeli society. As Lamerhav grew, expanded, and transformed into a knowledge infrastructure organization, so grew the partnerships and initiatives in which it is involved, and whose goal is to reach all the young adults in Israel who lack a family support network. Accordingly, and in line with our vision of expanding our service offering, we have increased the number of young adults receiving personal support and mentoring in 2017 by about 20%, and intend to double the number of those receiving direct and indirect support by 2019, thereby reaching 1,000 at-risk young adults in Israel.
Also in 2018, we have set a goal of developing and leading an innovative and unique digital literacy project. The initiative will empower young adults with the knowledge and tools to make beneficial usage of the internet, in way that will provide them information, services, and support in their daily lives. Digital literacy has been identified as an area in which at-risk young adults fall behind their peers and one which is of vital importance in their lives.
This digital literacy project, along with the projects we developed over the course of 2017 and which are slated to further expand, allow Lamerhav to provide an all-encompassing set of high quality, holistic support services to young adults who lack a family support network, and provide them in a manner that is beneficial and helps them advance.
These many ongoing developments would not have been possible without your support of Lamerhav. We want to express our gratitude for your partnership, thank you for your faith in our work and for the opportunities you have made possible for all the young men and women of Lamerhav to realize their potential and break out of the circle of poverty in Israel.