ב״ה

KeepOlim’s Mental Health Division

Sadly, more than ⅓ of all suicides in Israel are Olim. There is a huge crisis in the Olim community due to the of lack of mental health services for Olim in their native languages. We have had 15 ODs and suicides in our group in the last 5 years. Most were young Olim and a number of them were Lone Soldiers after the Army. It is so sad that these Olim, who came to Israel to live their dreams, were instead eaten up by the land that they so loved.

Last year alone over 70 suicidal Olim reached out to KeepOlim via Facebook, messages through our website and phone calls directly to the CEO for help! We gave them a shoulder to cry on and referred them to our volunteer therapists. We even helped those who needed to be hospitalized, get the treatment they needed and contacted their families overseas.

KeepOlim is developing a program to combat depression among Olim. Mental Health care in Israel for Olim in their native languages is extremely limited. Olim sometimes wait for months to speak to a counselor in their native language through Chupat Cholim. Many times, there is no therapist that speaks their language. Israel’s suicide hotline ERAN has volunteers that speak Arabic and Hebrew, providing no help for desperate Olim in their time of need and in their native languages. Moreover, after terror attacks occur in Israel - unsettling for anyone but especially difficult for Olim, the municipality crisis hotlines don’t give any support in any language besides Hebrew and Arabic, leaving the Olim who needs support the most - without!


KeepOlim, When Olim Have Nowhere to Turn

Olim lacking jobs, friends and family can quickly develop depression lose hope as they have nowhere to turn. That is why KeepOlim is developing Low Cost Subsidized Mental Health Services in the Olim’s native language. Our program has over 60 Olim therapists that speak over 12 languages and who understand the issues of Olim, as they themselves are Olim. Our program is overseen by co-directors Dr. Robert Lubin and Susan Cohen.


Free Support Groups for Mental Health for Corona Crisis on Zoom

The first part of KeepOlim’s Mental Health Program is Support Groups. During the Corona Crisis KeepOlim organized 22 Free Support Groups in 5 languages via Zoom for our Olim Community to discuss their issues relating to Corona. Fear, loneliness, anxiety, stress, longing for the families and living in Israel are the topics of these Support Groups led by experienced Olim Therapists. Each Support Group with about 6 participants each, meets for 1 hour over 4 weeks with the hope that participants will support each other, bond, and form friendships.

KeepOlim started our Support Group Programs last year. Initially our pilot program consisted of 13 face-to-face groups in 3 languages in 5 cities across Israel (pre-Corona times). The support groups are small and intimate, giving attention to each participant. They meet once a week for 8 weeks with an experienced therapist and only cost 200 shekels per participant. If an individual cannot afford the support group, KeepOlim subsidizes the cost. No one is turned away due to lack of funds. Over ½ of the 110 participants in this Pilot Program did not pay the full amount and KeepOlim paid the difference.

The Pilot Program for Support Groups was conducted in English, Spanish, and Russian. Other languages including French, Portuguese, Amharic and Kuki (the language of the Bnei Menashe) will follow once the program expands. The pilot program dealt with various issues such as depression, job search, loneliness, language, culture barriers, adjusting to Israel, family issues, etc.


KeepOlim Crisis Hotline in 5 Languages

The second part of our program is a KeepOlim Crisis Hotline. It will be available in over 5 languages that will be staffed by trained Olim therapists that speak the languages of Olim. There is a dire and intense need for this hotline, as within the last 4 years we have dealt with over 240 calls from desperate Olim.

As part of this Crisis Hotline we will have a Special Line for Lone Soldiers to call in anonymously and talk to our therapists. Many of the calls that we receive are Lone Soldiers that are too scared to talk to their commanders about their mental health as their profiles in the army will go down and their guns may get taken away. There is a crisis of suicides and OD’s of Lone Soldiers during and after the army.

This Special Crisis Hotline is desperately needed for Olim who have nowhere else to cry out for help in their time of need.

KeepOlim Free Mental Health Counseling for All Lone & Olim Soldiers

KeepOlim provides Free Mental Health Counseling to All Lone and Olim Soldiers during and after the Army in their native language. Our staff of dedicated volunteer Olim Therapists under the direction of Dr. Robert Lubin and Susan Cohen have handled over 40 clients in the first 3 months alone.

Quality, Subsidized Individual Counseling Sessions

The third part of our program will be low cost, subsidized counseling sessions in the Olim’s native language with experienced, qualified therapists. These sessions will be designed to help Olim overcome their own personal issues as well as empower them in their new homeland. According to Israeli law, each Israeli is entitled to 15 sessions of therapy through their Chupat Cholim with a fee of 140 shekels each. However, there are often no staff that speak their language. In addition, many Olim have to wait for months to see a therapist and if they are lucky enough to get one, these therapists have a hard time connecting, as they don’t really understand the problems of Olim and have even dismissed the concerns of Olim - leading to very serious situations and sadly, in certain cases, even death.

Each Oleh requesting assistance in KeepOlim’s Counseling Program will register, have an initial intake session and be given a number of subsequent sessions. The goal is for each patient to pay ½ and  for KeepOlim tol pay ½. If the patient can’t afford it, the sessions will be given on a sliding scale with KeepOlim paying the difference. In most cases KeepOlim will pay almost all of the cost as we’ve discovered that the Olim that need these services the most have no money.


KeepOlim Needs Your Help to Grow our Mental Health Program

Please help us continue to be a lifeline for all Olim!

Together We Are KeepOlim!

KeepOlim's Current Programs

The purpose of KeepOlim is to empower, inspire, and support All Olim in their Post-Aliyah life through programs, services, events and advocacy to KeepOlim in Israel!

KeepOlim's
Mental Health Division

FREE Crisis
Support Groups

KeepOlim Lone &
Olim Soldier's Unit

KeepOlim's
Free Legal Aid

KeepOlim's
Olim Advocacy

No Oleh Alone
For The Holidays

KeepOlim's Free
CV/Résumé Review

KeepOlim
University

KeepOlim's Social
Events & Parties

KeepOlim's Bikur
Cholim Program

KeepOlim's
Workshops

Project KeepOlim
Gives

Adopt
an Oleh

 

Beverley Zamit Thank you Liami, and to everyone who has been helping and supporting me through this trying time. I am so grateful and blessed to have such kind, caring people come into my life. I couldn't have done it without you. Thank you, and may Hashem bless you all and provide you with an abundance of prosperity in which ever way you may need it. Beverley

 

Vivian Hamui Schrijver Thank you to all of you! Specially to Joan and Lorre. Everyday I feel more surprised of how many amazing people this country can have! You just made me cry. THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart.

 

Adina Leah Wachsman 

I will never forget Keep Olim sending an angel to me when I was in the hospital in Jerusalem.

 

Adriane Rivka Wolfson Bernstein 

Overwhelmed is a word I've used a lot since my accident. Now to add speechless. Thanks to Joan Berman Shrensky, who heads the bikkur holim section of KOIM, my request for food was answered. Natty has just left my home, not only leaving my freezer full, but with such grace as she packaged everything into meal size portions. I have a very difficult eating plan, to keep my fibro in remission, and the amount of imagination and love used to create my food is incredible. Just reading the ingredients used in each dish makes my mouth water. Thanks Natty. I am so very grateful and promise to pay it forward in the best way I can. Chag sameach and wishing you a wonderful 2017.

 

Vivian Hamui Schrijver Thank you to all of you! Specially to Joan and Lorre. Everyday I feel more surprised of how many amazing people this country can have! You just made me cry. THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart.

 

Adina Leah Wachsman 

I will never forget Keep Olim sending an angel to me when I was in the hospital in Jerusalem.

 

Adriane Rivka Wolfson Bernstein 

Overwhelmed is a word I've used a lot since my accident. Now to add speechless. Thanks to Joan Berman Shrensky, who heads the bikkur holim section of KOIM, my request for food was answered. Natty has just left my home, not only leaving my freezer full, but with such grace as she packaged everything into meal size portions. I have a very difficult eating plan, to keep my fibro in remission, and the amount of imagination and love used to create my food is incredible. Just reading the ingredients used in each dish makes my mouth water. Thanks Natty. I am so very grateful and promise to pay it forward in the best way I can. Chag sameach and wishing you a wonderful 2017.

 

Vivian Hamui Schrijver Thank you to all of you! Specially to Joan and Lorre. Everyday I feel more surprised of how many amazing people this country can have! You just made me cry. THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart.

 

Adina Leah Wachsman 

I will never forget Keep Olim sending an angel to me when I was in the hospital in Jerusalem.

 

Adriane Rivka Wolfson Bernstein 

Overwhelmed is a word I've used a lot since my accident. Now to add speechless. Thanks to Joan Berman Shrensky, who heads the bikkur holim section of KOIM, my request for food was answered. Natty has just left my home, not only leaving my freezer full, but with such grace as she packaged everything into meal size portions. I have a very difficult eating plan, to keep my fibro in remission, and the amount of imagination and love used to create my food is incredible. Just reading the ingredients used in each dish makes my mouth water. Thanks Natty. I am so very grateful and promise to pay it forward in the best way I can. Chag sameach and wishing you a wonderful 2017.

 

Hi Joan,

Moving is never easy. In fact, it is considered one of the top four stressors in life......Couple that with moving halfway across the world, along with a foreign language to learn, and anybody would be challenged!! How much more so was I facing when I decided to make Aliyah as a handicapped, wheel-chair bound, single mother of two young adults.

And, to top it all off, once I was finally settled in Jerusalem, the city of my dreams, reality set in and we were moving once again........But this time the stakes were even higher. Now my daughter was already married and raising her lovely little girl while juggling school, marriage, and everything else in between. The stress of moving (once again) this time to a different city left me incapacitated and bed-bound.

Enter your wonderful organization, the Bikur Cholim of Keep Olim in Israel......It is safe to say that without your help and support my physical health and wellbeing would have deteriorated to a far greater degree. Instead, I received such dedicated and compassionate assistance from your organization that I have begun to feel much better and can now sit up with ease while supervising the unpacking that you so patiently and generously do for me!!! Every Bikur Cholim visit engenders hope that this hurdle too shall be overcome......

Bikur Cholim of Keep Olim in Israel is one of Israel's best-kept secrets that should be shared with every person considering Aliyah.......Don't leave home (your old country) without it! It is a game-changer!!!

Thank you, Bikur Cholim of Keep Olim in Israel for saving my emotional health and bettering my physical health with your kindness to me!!!!

May you go M'Chayil el Chayil (from strength to strength).....

Love,

Nechama