JOIN-At-Risk Youth Engagement

JOINing to engage the most disengaged
"Hard-core" at-risk youth in Israel reject programs by authority figures to "help" them.

Our Own Way is a non-project that gets kids to step up on their own and redirect their resentment and sense of injustice into their own social-action response. Our pilot in Beer Sheva with Caucasus-Region immigrant youth engages the most disengaged on their own terms.

JOIN Israel has enlisted the partnership of Ashalim of the JDC, with their extensive expertise, manpower, connections, and mandate to create and disseminate effective innovative pilots to help at-risk youth, as well as Dror Batei Chinuch, with their professionalism and appreciation of bottom-up, informal programing with at-risk youth. We have also worked in tandem with several governmental and municipal agencies, organizations and projects.

What We're Up Against

*150,000 youth in Israel are considered to be at-risk
*46% of this total is Russian-immigrant youth

Illicit use of psycho-active drugs is much higher among Russian-immigrant youth
*25% of the youth in psychiatric wards are immigrants (compared to 10% of the general youth population and 9% of the teenage population)
*20% of teen suicides in the last 10 years were by immigrant youth
*20% of immigrant youth are considered "not normative"

Immigrant youth are over-represented in all welfare-related programs
*Immigrant youth are twice as likely to be in a welfare-determined living situation as native youth
*33% of immigrant families are single-parent
*39% of families labeled as "in crisis" by the welfare agency do not receive any government assistance

Immigration often leads to lack of self-confidence and estrangement, which in turn leads to delinquent behavior
*22% of immigrant youth do not live with their parents
*Teenage immigrant girls show high degrees of risk for abandonment, running away from home, drug use, aggression, theft, indiscriminate sexual activity, and prostitution
*16% of immigrant youth regularly use alcohol and drugs


The lack of command of Hebrew clearly affects the immigrant student's ability to grasp other subjects
*59% of elementary schools do not fulfill all of the supplementary academic support that is due their immigrant students
*36% of students who failed in at least three subjects did not receive any supplementary academic help

Based on the Ministry of Absorption and the Brookdale Institute. The report states that many of these statistics are lower than they should be, as Russian immigrants are less likely to turn to welfare programs and services. Israeli welfare agencies do not proactively seek to identify at-risk youth.


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