The Beit Avraham
Halfway House Hostel
The Keren’s flagship project is our spacious halfway house, located in Jerusalem’s Ramot neighborhood. The complex includes 10 bedrooms, a kitchen, dining room, study and therapy rooms, a synagogue, garden and courtyard.
The halfway house is home to ex- offenders during their 9 month rehabilitation process.
Most of our clients served time for drug-related offenses, and themselves require sustained counseling and therapy in preventing them from relapsing into their old substance abuse and dependency routines. The hostel is designed for both single and married men, and offers them accommodation in a supportive environment, within a homogeneous community which separates them from their families and former dangerous lifestyles and neighborhoods. Thus the hostel offers them all the possible services and emotional support they might need in their critical transition from prison life to open society.
The rehabilitative framework deals with all realms of activity connected with their return to normative social behavior – from assisting them to find work and maintain a working routine, to Torah study sessions, confronting ethical texts, and the requirements of a Torah lifestyle. The ex- offenders, in our parlance “residents”, maintain a collective lifestyle wherein each one of them is allocated work, cooking or maintenance assignments – all of these under the watchful eyes of the hostel’s professional staff and dedicated counselors. These latter are ideal role models for the residents, with some of them having made the successful transition from prison life to a full and rich Jewish lifestyle.
The hostel’s professional management facilitates individual and group study sessions dealing with Judaism’s ethical teachings and character perfection. They also conduct weekly therapy workshops.
The daily schedules are intense, with residents leaving early in the mornings to work and returning in the late afternoon, to be followed by a rigorous schedule of Torah study sessions and / or therapeutic workshops.
Residents stay in the hostel for 9 - 12 months; this is due to administrative regulations and budgetary constraints on the part of the PRA. From the Keren’s experience this period is insufficient to effectively motivate and maintain positive attitudes to employment. However, this is the period determined by the PRA’s budgetary constraints. Our experience has shown that residents require at least another 12 months of hostel-type life and routine, followed by long-term transitory accommodation on their way to full independence into a world without metal bars and handcuffs, distanced from substance abuse or dangerous neighborhoods.