At the end of November, we had the honor of hosting representatives from the Faculty of Forensic Psychology at the Moscow State University of Psychology and Education (MSUPE). The objective of this visit was to give exposure and recognition to the Israeli care system of youth and young adults at-risk, on several levels: academic, practical and the overall policy.
The visit lasted for five days and was planned by Natan Gelman, Lamerhav’s Professional Director, as part of an ongoing collaboration with the Faculty of Forensic Psychology at the University of Moscow, led by Dr. Rimma Chirkina, Head of the Department. The visit included meetings with representatives from many academic institutions, the staff of the various Lamerhav Houses and representatives from programs designed to assist youth and young adults.
The first day of the visit opened with a visit to Beit Berl College and a meeting with Dr. Liat Yakhnitz, Head of the Youth Development Program. The delegation learned about the training methods in the Program and about various curriculum content.
On the second day, the delegation arrived on a tour of Beersheba visiting the Lamerhav House and Ben Gurion University. The guests met with the staff of the Lamerhav House, as well as a female young adult, who received guidance and support as part of the program. They were all impressed by the wide-ranging work, which includes a network of urban partnerships. Then, they visited Ben-Gurion University, where they met the head of the Department of Social Work, Prof. Orly Sarid, and Dr. Tehila Rafaeli, Head of the Youth Studies Program. In the meeting, they were given a fascinating overview of the Program and the activities being conducted in the research and academic fields.
On the third day, the delegation arrived at Ruppin Academic Center, where they met Dr. Haim Lahav, Academic Coordinator of the Mentors Training Program in the field of young adults. The training program is run jointly by Lamerhav and Ruppin Academic Center. In the meeting, the delegation has learned about the new program and the worldview that directs the Department for the Advancement of At-risk Youth at the Ministry of Education, as Dr. Lahav was one of its founders and managers. The delegation then went on a tour of the “Atid Raziel Youth Village”, where they discovered the youth village system and learned about the treatment of young adults without a family support network.
On the fourth day, the delegation visited Lamerhav House in Hod Hasharon. The participants were given information about the classic Lamerhav program. The organization’s measurement and evaluation system, as well as the “salesforce” system were introduced to them. Then, they went on a tour of the Meir Garden and were introduced to the “streetwork” of the “Elem Youth in Distress Association”. The outreach vans coordinator, who was there, told about the important work being done and how the various responses are made accessible to young adults.
On the last day, we concluded the visit with a trip to Jerusalem and parted ways with a shared wish to continue collaborating in the field of staff training, as well as participation in university conferences. The department’s representatives were very impressed with the extensive work in the field of young adults in Israel and were touched by the generous hospitality.
Our heartfelt thanks to all those, who took part and contributed to the success of the visit!