American Friends of Orr Shalom Inc

Because we never give up on any child!

aka Orr Shalom for Children and Youth at Risk   |   Janesville, WI   |  www.orr-shalom.org.il

Mission

Orr Shalom’s vision is to enable Israel’s children at-risk to realize their potential and right to grow up loved, protected and respected, individual and special, in small therapeutic frameworks. Orr Shalom is committed to finding a replacement home for every child in its care, and helping the children break the cycle of abuse, thereby contributing to the resilience and moral fiber of Israeli society. According to its therapeutic approach, Orr Shalom develops and operates a range of educational and therapeutic responses, programs and services for children and youth at risk and their biological parents, from all sectors of Israeli society. Orr Shalom assists them to overcome their emotional, academic and social distress and grow, develop and integrate as citizens in mainstream society.

Ruling year info

1989

CEO

Tali Halaf

Main address

3708 Enterprise Dr

Janesville, WI 53546 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

13-3502817

NTEE code info

Foster Care (P32)

Residential, Custodial Care (Group Home) (P70)

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (Q12)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Hundreds of children are removed each year by the Ministry of Welfare from their biological homes due to sever neglect and emotional, physical and/or sexual abuse. Orr Shalom provides solutions for these children including immediate and long term protection and loving homes, as well as providing for all of their emotional and material needs.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Start Up Kits

Essential Clothing & Equipment Packs for Children at Risk

Every single one of the 1,400 children in our care has been removed from their homes by the Ministry of Social Welfare, after suffering severe abuse, neglect and tragedy. Typically, they arrive in their new foster or family group homes with little or no personal possessions, coming straight out of highly traumatic circumstances, in acute distress. Most arrive with just the clothing on their backs. Startup kits provide much needed, holistic material care for these abused and neglected children at-risk, ages 6-18, living in our Family Group Homes. These children do not have even the most basic personal items to call their own. We must therefore provide them with the clothing and equipment they desperately need.

After welcoming a child in, generally the house mother or father of each Family Group Home personally takes him or her to local stores to purchase clothing and other necessities. This is an important experience for the child, building their trust in the adults who care for them and provide them, often for the first time, with a sense of being loved and cared for not only physically but emotionally as well.

Population(s) Served

Orr Shalom's 20 Family Group Homes care for 230 children throughout Israel who have been removed from their homes by the social welfare services. All these children receive round the clock care, supervision, and love. Part of our mandate is to foster a better connection between the children and their biological families, with the proper forethought and professional supervision. Orr Shalom's Family Group Homes close four times a year for a short vacation to allow our house parents a chance to recharge their batteries. During these school holidays, due in no small part to the intensive work we do with their biological families, the majority of the 230 children living in the Family Group Homes are able to return to their biological parents for a short period.

60 of Orr Shalom’s children who are orphans with no family, or who come from domestic situations so violent, abusive or dysfunctional that it is impossible for them to go home have literally nowhere else to go during these vacations. We must provide an environment in which they will continue to receive the care that they so desperately need. Out of this need was borne the Orr Shalom Safe Haven Overnight Camps program which is based on the North American model of overnight camps.

The camps are run by a team of professionals trained and supervised by Orr Shalom. The staff includes experienced counselors and national service volunteers from the children’s Orr Shalom homes. A psychologist is on call in case of emergency. There is a high staff-child ratio at all camps to guarantee the care and supervision that these children require and to ensure they do not regress to past negative behaviors. In order to ensure that the children are in a safe, structured and educational framework and do not regress to past destructive behaviors during vacation times, activities include:

• Cultural activities that include visits to museums of science and art, and arts festivals
• Healthy outdoors activities such as swimming, basketball, hiking, biking and soccer
• Relating to nature incorporating survival activities, and respecting the environment
• Challenge activities such as rafting, rappelling, ropes courses and outstanding hikes
• Shabbat and festivals on Fridays and festival eves, the children bake challot and share a festive meal. Holiday celebrations are all conducted in an inclusive, non-coercive atmosphere.
• Empowerment and leadership program for older teens to develop new skills

As the government provides no funding for Safe Haven, we rely on the generosity of our donors to continue to run this life-saving program. Orr Shalom’s Safe Haven Overnight Camp is not a luxury. It is a necessity. Without Safe Haven, our children would be in extremely dangerous situations. Safe Haven cares for those children who have no other safe space.

Population(s) Served

Graduates Program: Aging out of Family Group Homes

When children in Orr Shalom turn 18, they automatically age out of our care; turning 18, however, does not automatically make one an adult. These days, leaving the nest can is hard for normative 18 year old. Leaving out-of-home frameworks is especially stressful and difficult for graduates not yet ready to make a sudden move to independent living. When our 18 years old age out, the majority cannot rely on, or return to, their biological parents, and those who do return often find themselves in the same dysfunctional family dynamic from which they were removed. Faced with a sink or swim situation - despite the preparation we do with them prior to aging out - many of our graduates are unable to cope with the difficulties related to being self-sufficient. They often find themselves in material and emotional distress, facing unemployment, poverty, and depression – or worse.

Our graduates program offers concrete assistance to this most vulnerable population, ensuring that our graduates are mentally healthy and able to integrate into Israeli society from a place of personal empowerment, with equal opportunities, and as productive and independent citizens who are no longer welfare dependent.

 Practically: First and foremost, we help our graduates to secure proper housing, which represents the most critical need of every graduate. We continue to offer financial management and life-skills workshops. We cover the costs of driving lessons and license tests for the graduates, as being mobile is a crucial step in becoming independent. We assist them through the process of registering for social security and army or national service. There are many steps that must be taken to ensure their service is successful and fulfilling; to that end, we guide graduates in their relationships with their superiors and army commanders. In addition, we must kit out each graduate for the start of their independent life with all the basics necessary for their new life, such as: sheets and towels and basic kitchen supplies like dishes and utensils. Those enlisting in the IDF are kitted out with basic underwear sets and personal hygiene products.

 Emotionally: Each graduate continues to benefit from personal mentoring, guidance, and encouragement from our trained Graduate Coordinator. We continue to fund therapy, to give graduates an outlet for issues that may be brought up by this transition. We send packages to our Lone Soldiers for holidays and in preparation for their army draft, which assists them in alleviating acute loneliness, boosting their self-confidence and fostering their sense of belonging at this most critical decision-making juncture.

Population(s) Served

Orr Shalom operates eight Emergency Foster Homes for Infants and Toddlers, also known as Kelet. Kelet was established to provide babies and toddlers ages 0-5 who find themselves in emergency situations with a safe, loving family home that will care for all their physical, emotional and developmental needs until a permanent solution is found. Each Kelet cares for up to 5 children at a time, and are open to receive these children 24/7, 365 days a year. This is a vital, and literally life-saving program, for babies and toddlers who find themselves in the most unspeakable, unimaginable distress.

Operated by couples who have unlimited patience and love, our Kelets need at least one extra pair of hands, as 5 distressed babies and toddlers is a lot for one couple to handle on a daily basis. National Service girls are young women, ages 18-20, who have chosen national service positions instead of enlisting in the IDF, and they are an integral part of caring for these children. While these homes operate on a deeply personal and emotional level for all those involved, there exists, simultaneously, a glimmer, a beginning, of hope:

 A house mother recently related this story: Aaron arrived here in the middle of the night. He was one and a half years old and so dirty; his clothes and diaper hadn’t been changed in who knows how long. His distress seemed to disrupt the whole house; his non-stop wailing set off the other children. I know though, that when you give enough love and attention, you will see a child thrive. I hugged him a lot and kept telling him that he was safe, and that I was here for him, and that we care about him and want him to be happy. In time, Aaron calmed down and I even got to hear him start talking. When you think you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, you know you just need to keep looking.

 Michal, a National Service girl, had this to say: At one point, the topic of sexual abuse kept coming up a lot, in all of the Kelets. It was really heartbreaking. We [the National Service girls] brought up the subject with the Kelet Director, and she arranged a seminar on the topic for us – even though we had covered this in our orientation – and it really helped us process… This job is so hard, but the kids are really amazing when you can just be with them on a personal level. I’ve had breakthroughs with kids I thought I’d never get through to – and you just keep at it, keep giving them love and affection, keep being a constant force in their lives, even though they’re only with us for a couple of months – and I keep being amazed at how much gets through. I feel very honored that I got to do my National Service here, and I feel totally supported by Orr Shalom.

Population(s) Served

Orr Shalom’s Educational Intervention Program
Because if you can help a child, you don’t have to spend years repairing an adult

Orr Shalom currently cares for over 230 children in 21 Family Group Homes throughout Israel, who come to us following the most distressing circumstances including violence, sexual abuse/rape, parental drug use, severe neglect, abandonment, cruelty, and more. They understandably suffer from emotional, behavioral, and learning difficulties.

Orr Shalom’s Educational Intervention Program levels the educational playing field for these 230 children, providing a comprehensive basket of service to empower and help them consolidate fundamental learning skills and prepare for examinations, including their matriculation exams. This program helps the children in our care close educational gaps, reach their academic potential, and begin to build a better future. Services include:

• Psycho-didactic evaluations to map out the individual educational needs of each child, and guarantee that children are being provided with the services to meet their needs. These tests identify the best possible routes to addressing each individual child’s needs, and serve as the basis of each child’s holistic educational treatment plan. This evaluation can also pinpoint other developmental, emotional or physical issues that can be addressed with other treatments.

• Individualized tutoring throughout the year, within the Family Group Homes, consolidates academic progress, strengthens academic abilities and builds key skills and confidence.

• National Service girls work in Orr Shalom’s Family Group Homes eight hours a day, five days a week, throughout the year. At least 50% of their work with the children revolves around education.

Karina immigrated to Israel at the age of 5 from the FSU together with her mother and extended family. After three years, she was removed her due to severe neglect. Having barely attended school for three years, Karina lacked basic skills, and she began her studies in special education classes. Thanks to Orr Shalom’s Educational Intervention Program, she has since made tremendous progress.

Within two years of moving into Orr Shalom, she was taken out of the special education framework and was moved to classes with other children her age. She has developed both a love and a true knack for critical thinking and was recently accepted to a competitive architecture/graphics program. Karina is now a 15-year-old student in the 9th grade. She has no connection with her mother in Israel or her father in Russia. Her family now consists of her friends from the group home and the Orr Shalom staff.

The key to Karina’s future lies in the educational achievements that she has successfully reached, made possible through Orr Shalom’s Educational Intervention Program

Population(s) Served

A Jewish child’s Bar or Bat Mitzvah is one of the major highlights in their young lives. This unforgettable journey empowers Jewish children all over the world, guiding them into the community of Jewish adults.

Orr Shalom currently cares for over 1,400 children who were removed from their homes by the social welfare services following severe abuse and neglect. In our safe, loving Therapeutic Family Group Homes and foster families, and with educational, psychological and material support, the children can break the cycle of abuse, overcome their pasts and become independent, healthy adults.

In the next year, approximately 30 of our children will celebrate their Bar or Bat Mitzvah. These celebrations are often emotional and poignant experiences for the children, even more so than for “normative” children going through a similar rite of passage. Like other children, Orr Shalom’s children dream of a future filled with friends, family, laughter and love. Yet unlike children their own age, they have experienced unimaginable traumas in their short lifetimes. They have suffered abandonment, neglect, and physical and/or sexual abuse. Their Bar or Bat Mitzvah is crucial in that it provides them – in many cases for the first time – a chance to see their own life and their own accomplishments in a positive light, and to connect to their roots.

“Normative” children receive support from their families in preparing for this rite of passage. The families provide tutors, and help pick clothes for the celebration, choose a caterer, a venue, and choose a guest list – all to ensure that the Bar/Bat Mitzvah is the most special day in their child’s life.

Orr Shalom’s children, on the other hand, do not have their parents to walk them through what should be an exciting time in their young lives. We provide tutors for the children who wish to mark the Bnai/Bnot Mitzvah in a synagogue, we help them buy the outfit that will allow them to look in a mirror and feel special, and we work with the children to arrange a celebration, complete with catering, music, family and friends. We rely on our donors to help make their dreams come true.

Nothing compares to the pride and joy on the faces of our children, having suffered so much in their young lives, when they celebrate their Bnai and Bnot Mitzvah. Nothing is more powerful than when they see how much they are truly loved and cared for by those around them. By celebrating their Bnai and Bnot Mitzvah, our children see their achievements and gain a sense of fulfillment and longing for a better future, which is the goal of all those involved in their care.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of licensed foster families as a result of the organization's efforts

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Orr Shalom supports and provides on going training to 560 Foster Families, 55 of whom joined the Orr Shalom family in 2018.

Number of youth who exit foster care at age 18

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Graduates Program 18+

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

These youth joined Orr Shalom's Graduate Community after aging out of their foster and Family Group Home placements. Our Graduate Community now numbers 355 young adults.

Hours of tutoring provided

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Educational Intervention Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Hours of therapy and therapeutic activities provided

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of children served annually

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Orr Shalom aims to provide solutions for these children including immediate and long term protection and loving homes, as well as providing for all of their emotional and material needs. In addition Orr Shalom creates and runs programs aimed at helping our children and graduates so that they can break out of the cycle of violence and abuse and become productive upstanding members of Israeli society. Through this process we hope to save the next generation of Israeli children.

We operate a variety of out of home care solutuons including:
• 230 children live in 21 Therapeutic Family Group Homes across Israel.
• 850 children live with 560 foster families recruited, trained and supported on an ongoing basis by Orr Shalom. 210 of these foster children have special needs.
• 25 babies and toddlers live in 5 emergency foster homes at any one time.
• 12 girls who cannot be integrated into any other programs live in a closed home.
• 100 teens and 200+ graduates with no family backing are supported in a comprehensive graduate program for 18-26 year olds.

Established in 1980, we have nearly 40 years of award winning experience and proven capability in the field of children and youth at risk. Orr Shalom strives to ensure the highest level of professionalism, through ongoing and intensive staff training, and a high ratio of therapeutic staff to children, thereby ensuring that every child receives maximum attention, the highest possible quality of care, and a comprehensive basket of enrichment solutions to help each child flourish.
We are recognized by both the Ministry of Health and by the Israel Psychological Association as a program for the specialization of clinical psychology.
Orr Shalom employs 350 people, including 100 social workers, 20 senior psychologists, 15 couples who serve as house parents, in addition to specialists, caregivers, support staff and administrative staff, National Service volunteers, and various other volunteers.
Orr Shalom is the recipient of the prestigious President's Award for Volunteerism.

Since 1980 Orr Shalom has taken care of 40'000 children in our various frameworks. We have developed numerous innovative and holistic therapeutic care models and support programs.
We continue to develop professionally in order to offer the highest quality of therapeutic services.
Orr Shalom is considered a leader in the field of out of home care for children at risk. We continue to expand our work with the Orr Shalom graduates community as our children leave the Ministry of Welfare frameworks at the age of 18.

Financials

American Friends of Orr Shalom Inc
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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American Friends of Orr Shalom Inc

Board of directors
as of 5/20/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Anat Ramaty Shashua

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes