In 2017, Be’er-Sheva has ca.30,500 families residing within the city limits. Ca.51% of the city’s population are women and ca.25% are children (minors).
There are many amazing families in Be’er-Sheva, such as the Krief family. Sarah and Simon Krief came to Be’er-Sheva from Tunis, Tunisia in 1952 and raised 15 children (8 girls and 7 boys) here. Their children have given them 87 grandchildren and over 75 great-grandchildren, thus far!! They’ve literally raised a tribe. (Tfu, tfu, tfu! May God keep them well! The Krief‘s confirm my personal opinion that Be’er-Sheva is an excellent place to raise a family.)
Organizations and associations for families
Hadassah-Israel, “Eshel Be’er-Sheva” Chapter is a voluntary Zionist women’s organization that acts to improve the quality of life in Israel and to promote women’s health, education, immigrant absorption, and to help children at risk. The Hadassah Women also offer Bible classes, a book review club, participation in charity marches and benefits, etc. Meetings are help on the last Monday of each month from 10:00-12:00 at “Gane Ye’elim” on Aliyah St. in Hey neighborhood. A bimonthly online English-language “Hadassah Magazine” may be seen at: http://www.hadassahmagazine.org. In 1949, it was the American Hadassah Women volunteer nurses who founded Be’er-Sheva‘s first hospital, the Hadassah Hospital in the Old City, that delivered the city’s first native-born Israeli Be’ershevans; this hospital served the local population for a decade, until after the dedication of the Soroka Hospital in 1959.
“Na’amat” – a non-political movement for working women & volunteers that provides: a legal aid office; women’s empowerment workshops; couples counseling; preschool daycare services; etc. The main “Na’amat” office is located at the Be’er-Sheva Women’s Rights Center inside the Histadrut Building (adjacent to the City Hall parking lot). Coordinator: Mira Hazaz-Koifman 08-6238196, 08-6463029.
WIZO Be’er-Sheva (founded 1952) is a humanistic, democratic, Zionist organization that: promotes family welfare; supports education and equal opportunity for all (e.g., employment for single-parents); and safeguards the equal rights of women & children’s rights, located at 1 Weizman St. in Aleph – 08-6277714, 08-6450936, http://www.beersheva.wizobranch.org.
Assistance and support for families
The Be’er-Sheva Center for the Child and the Family (founded 1995) by the “Yachdav” (lit., together) Association is located at 3 Ya’akov Dori St. in the Vav neighborhood and serves as a place for arranged parent-child visitations (for at-risk children from borken homes) and offers parental counseling and legal aid – 08-6417301. Also at this location, there are meetings of a ADHD-children’s parents’ support group – 08-6206351.
The Bet Moriah Association sponsors the “Warm Home” Project that provides homeless teenage women (13-17) with: a safe place to live; social and emotional support; and cultural activities at Mendele Mokher Sefarim St. in the Aleph neighborhood – 08-6288812, http://www.bmoriah.org.il.
“Kishurim” (lit., connections) – the Family Center at Bet Moriah, located at 91 Avraham Avinu St. in the Daled neighborhood, frequently holds lectures on parenthood and couples relations – 08-6409760, http://www.bmoriah.org.il.
“Mom-to-Mom” helps new mothers adjust and cope with their motherhood and babies. Experienced, volunteer mothers guide and support the inexperienced moms. This community project, established by Prof. Julie Cwickel, is situated at the BGU Center for the Research and Promotion of Women’s Health – 08-6477562/3.
“Nitzan” Be’er-Sheva diagnoses and treats learning disabilities. It’s located at 6 Bene Or St. in the Bet neighborhood – 08-6497438.
English-speaker Sarah Klein is a certified doula who gives childbirth prep-courses for ‘pregnant’ parents-to-be and accompanies the birth-mothers at the Soroka Medical Center during delivery, childbirth & post-partum, also providing breast-feeding support – 054-4688470.
“Tehila” is a discrete monthly support group for parents of LGBT children (some meetings held with the children present, to help them cope, as well). Call Sari Betesh, 054-4910468.
Family education and activities
The Adler Institute – School for Parents organizes parenting education and counseling groups in Be’er-Sheva – Dr. Anat Mishori-Der’i 050-5263693.
“Ashram” – alternative medicine clinic, offers therapeutic massages for pregnant women and babies. Address: 31 ha-Shalom St. in the Gimel neighborhood – Oshrat, 052-3788046.
The Wizo Preschool Center offers educational activities for preschoolers of various ages. It’s located at 5 Elijah, the Prophet St. (near the Levin Community Center in the Daled neighborhood) – 08-6409250/1, http://www.gilharach.co.il.
Some recommended places to go with children, in addition to the parks and promenades throughout the city: Lunada [interactive experiential center] and the adjacent large outdoor Children’s World Park; NegevZoo; Babylon Park, ha-Pa’alton, Azrieli Kids [indoor playgrounds in the various malls]; I Jump [indoor trampoline park]; etc.–and with older children: Carasso Science Museum [interactive educational center]; Performance Rock [for rock-climbing practice]; Skate Park [for skateboarding & snake-boarding]; Bike Park [for extreme biking]; Punky Monkey[extreme indoor playground]; Ice-skating Rink [inside Cinema City Mall], etc.