The goal of the Absorption Center is to help integrate and prepare olim for independent living within Israeli society.
Established in 1980, Shoshana absorption center is located in the city of Kiryat Gat. Centrally situated within a half hour drive to Tel Aviv and named the capital city of the Lachish Region, Kiryat Gat has a population of over 55,000 residents and a thriving industrial region.
The Center has been serving Ethiopian immigrants since 1999 and strives to accompany and guide them towards full integration into Israeli society. The absorption center is located in a central and convenient area in close proximity to health clinics, kindergartens, day care centers, elementary schools, shops and public transportation.
Due to its location, there are many employment possibilities in Kiryat Gat and in the surrounding area, and many new immigrants have successfully integrated into the work force. This encourages a large percentage of immigrant families to stay in the region and buy apartments in Kiryat Gat.
The Shoshana absorption center has 119 residential units in a nine-story apartment complex. Units are of varying sizes. Basic appliances and furnishings, including beds, closets, refrigerator, stove, chairs and tables, are also provided. Upon arrival, new immigrants are welcomed with basic food provisions for their first days.
The Shoshana Absorption Center in Kiryat Gat began organizing activities for children living in frontline communities not long after Operation Cast Lead began.
Activities and Special Projects
The center provides activities for both adults and children.
For adults this includes Hebrew studies, conversion classes, seminars, and community activities, workshops on parenting, employment, consumerism and trips around Israel.
Activities for children focus on educational reinforcement and enrichment in subjects such as Jewish customs, festivals and Israeli culture. In addition, they have sports, drama, music, day camps, trips and more.
Activities are geared towards the different stages of absorption and assisting olim in becoming familiar with their new surroundings.
Ulpan -The Hebrew studies' center (ulpan) in the Shoshana absorption center serves as a municipal ulpan for new immigrants from western countries, who have settled directly into the Kiryat Gat community. This allows for a broader integration between new immigrants, and an opportunity for them to get more involved in the larger community.
Adult Workshops - Workshops are held on employment, relationships and parenting, household management and institutions and services in Israel.
Home Maintenance - Courses are provided to give olim information on buying and maintaining a home in Israel.
Health and Hygiene – Personal hygiene instruction for women and girls is taught, as well as the importance for maintaining general health and disease prevention.
Mentoring Club - A special mentoring club takes place in the afternoon hours for the center's children, and provides strengthening in schoolwork and homework assistance.
Educational Reinforcement - Extra reinforcement in Hebrew and math studies is available for children and youth.
Preparation for First Grade - A readiness class for first grade, is offered for preschool children prior to their entering school.
Summer Camp - A yearly summer day camp is held for the center's children and combines crafts, performances, hiking and general activities in cooperation with local volunteer groups.
A dedicated and professional staff is responsible for the care of the new immigrants and for the daily running of the Absorption Center. The staff consists of a director, administrative assistant, head of education and culture, social worker, housemother and counselors.