The goal of the Absorption Center is to help integrate and prepare olim for independent living within Israeli society.
The Tzahal absorption center is located in northern Israel in Safed, the capital of Galilee. Historically a holy walled city, today modern Safed has approximately 28,000 inhabitants.
The broad expanses and beautiful views of the city contribute to a positive atmosphere. The center is in close proximity to a supermarket, post office, pharmacy, restaurants, cafes, and health clinics.
The Tzahal absorption center has relatively large residential units 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.
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.
Behrun Alahin (center) and his brother with Behrun’s bar mitzvah “twin” David Tuck. (photo credit: Tuck family)
Oleh Readiness Pilot Project - In this pilot project, the staff and new immigrants are divided into work teams. Each staff member serves as a coach for both individuals and groups, in six different areas necessary for independent living and integration into Israeli society.
Home Center Project - Workshops on maintaining a home in Israel are offered by the Home Center staff. They guide new immigrants on solving technical problems in the household and give advice on general upkeep.
Photography Project - New immigrants document, photograph and produce videos on their Aliyah experience.
Health and Hygiene - Personal hygienic instruction, as well as its importance for maintaining general health and disease prevention, is taught to adults in the center.
Safety - A workshop is given on safety and accident prevention, as well as how to deal with emergencies.
Israeli Cooking - A class in cooking Israeli food, familiarity with products and special menus for Israeli holidays and celebrations, takes place in the center.
Men's Empowerment Workshop – Workshops on integration into Israeli society, and empowering the place of the man within the family, are held in cooperation with the Yedid Organization.
Elders' Committee - A committee of the elders of the Ethiopian community was established to serve as a bridge, and to assist in solving problems that arise within the community.
Playroom Activities - Parents and children learn how to play games together under the guidance of a mentor.
Choir Group - Integrating new immigrant and Israeli children, the choir will perform in upcoming national festivals.
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 for preschool children prior to their entering school is offered.
Parent - teacher meetings
Bar / Bat Mitzvah - A joint Bar / Bat Mitzvah project takes place with children from the Israel Jewish Appeal in England. The new immigrants and British children correspond, and later, join together for a combined celebration.
Playroom Activities - Parents and children learn how to play games together, under the guidance of a staff member.
Compedia Project - The Compedia company has developed a computer program which offers educational reinforcement and computer classes for preschoolers. This program strengthens their learning prior to entering the school system.
Additionally children and youth have access to computers for schoolwork, learning and recreation.
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, counselors and volunteers.