The boarding school in Yiftach is a welcoming home away from home. The boys who live at Yiftach often come from home situations with little to no security and stability. Yiftach provides a familiar personal and private space where each child is empowered and nurtured. At the same time, because the boys come from environment where their priority survival was all too often the main imperative, Yiftach establishes a stable and compassionate living space where each boy can advance healthy and corrective contact with their environment and nurture healthy relationships.
For the boys who lost confidence in the adults in their lives and experienced rejection and worse, they relied on a keen sense of survival with faith only in themselves. We help create renewed trust in others.
The boarding school will be a cluster of four buildings, each comprised of five rooms each, with each room housing three students. In addition, each building includes a room for a counselor, along with program and meeting space for the entire group.
In many cases, the boys who come to live at Yiftach arrive from a life on the streets, where food was not readily available and personal safety was a perpetual concern. For this reason, boarding at Yiftach includes easy 24/7 access to plentiful and healthy food. The boys receive six meals throughout the day – three main meals: breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and three additional snacks. Beyond that, any teenager can go to the kitchen and the dining room and prepare food for himself any time he feels hungry. The key to the kitchen and dining room is available around the clock.
The dining room space is modular. It is designed to 120 people, 60 students and 60 staff members, to eat regularly together, with capacity for another 130 seats for events with family members and other guests. It is intended to create a sense of intimacy and familiarity in daily interaction; and the room is expanded only when there is a need to accommodate up to 250 people.
Students are fed generously – a dish and a half for each student, along with a buffet for self-service for amenities and extras. A staff member sits with students at each table to offer guidance and provide support.
Research on the interconnectedness of food security and emotional stability performed in 2020 at the University of Korea, demonstrates how cooking and good nutrition have a positive impact on self-esteem and self-expression, resulting in improvement in social skills. The feeling of community and each student’s capacity to feel part of a community is strengthened, and the emotional stability we strive for in Yiftach will be supported in the kitchen.
The goal of each resident when they come to Yiftach is to break circles of failure and develop circles of success. They often arrive with the scars of internal loss, feeling disconnected from the outside. At Yiftach, residents are encouraged to open up and focus on personal goals with perseverance and the ability to deal with intermittent failure as part of life. As adolescents, the residents grow and express themselves positively and with familiarity, and openness.
Yiftach’s treatment approach is both therapeutic and conventional. Every adolescent will receive at least one hour of dynamic therapy each week with an alternative or traditional therapist. Further, Timora sees art and creative expression as a therapeutic act. We, therefore, offer all students therapeutic activities integrating arts and technology.
The gym allows the boys to connect with a healthy body image. This is also where they prepare for army service. Each student has a personal plan tailored to him by a professional instructor, updated periodically through the year.
Eleventh and Twelve grade students are certified in a program at the Wingate Sports Academy to operate the room.
The Beit Midrash is fundamental to the vision and purpose of Timora, integrating the spiritual and the practical. A meaningful center of activity, the Beit Midrash is where students will participate in Tefilla and Limudei Kodesh, learning individually in Chavruta, where they study together and build their intellectual and social skills, bringing their experiences from home and elsewhere and building their personal and spiritual bond to their community.
It a place for calm, investigative, and experimental dialogue, enabling each student to form personal directions and decisions. Moreover, the Limudei Kodesh is a fundamental element of Timora’s educational-therapeutic approach.