Families–For You

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 familySarah 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 Hadassah Women logohealth, 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-languageHadassah Magazine” may be seen at: http://www.hadassahmagazine.orgIn 1949, it was the American Hadassah Women volunteer nurses who founded Be’er-Sheva‘s first Hadassah Hospital sitehospital, 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., Wizoemployment 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 providesBeit Moriah 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, isJulie Cwikel 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 Sara Klein - doulaCenter 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; NegevZooBabylon Parkha-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.



Senior Citizens–For You

The population of Be’er-Sheva is now both growing and growing younger with every passing year. In 2017, the population of the City is composed of about 27% senior citizens (aged 55-120, God willing), some retired, some still working. The following are only a few examples of organizations, activities, educational programs, voluntary frameworks & care facilities & services geared especially for seniors that are available in Be’er-ShevaIn my opinion, seniors may and should do whatever they can and want to do.

The Municipal Dept. for the Welfare of Seniors may be reached at 08-6205158.

The City of Be’er-Sheva sponsors an annual, collective birthday celebration for its citizens who turn 80; the Hebrew term for the age of 80 is gevurot (lit., acts of heroism). Every now and then the City also salutes its resident centenarians (those over the age of 100).  

For free information regarding eligibility and locations of subsidized/private housing for senior citizens call: 1-800-30-10-30 or 077-9033850 .

Organizations for seniors

Be’er-Sheva has a special Center for Closing the Digital Gap in Israeli Society for those who are digitally challenged, that teaches digital literacy–the use of modern digital tools, e.g., smart phones, computers, Internet, etc. To register call: 08-6486508 or 054-6396099.

Tech7Seniors meet often at CDI in the new BGU/Be’er-Sheva HighTech Park on the 4th floor of Gav-Yam building #1 to encourage digital literacy in seniors and to serve as volunteer advisors to local start-ups developing digital means and products for Ruvik with Tech7Seniors at CDI 10.2018making the later years better than ever – contact Pnina Ifrach at pninaif@gmail.com to join the digital age along with other sociable seniors.  

The “Histadrut” Labor Union’s Be’er-Sheva & Negev Region Retirees Club meets in Histadrut retirees logothe Histadrut Building (next to the City Hall parking lot) and provides its members with all manner of subsidized activities. The current Chairman is Yitshak (“Itsik”) Binyamin – 08-6463017. 

In fact, every major body, institution & company has its own local seniors’ club for its own retirees, such as: the Be’er-Sheva Municipality; Soroka Medical Center; BGU; the large chemical companies like ICL; “Kamag” and many others.

An English-speaking Seniors’ Club meets regularly on Thursdays from 16:00-18:00 to socialize and hear interesting lectures in English at the Payis Seniors’ Club at the back Wizoof the Wizo Womens’ Center (cover charge 10 NIS)  Chairman: Albert Jacob 08-6274670; Peter Lambert 08-6417246

“Amcha” (lit., your People) – the Association for Holocaust Survivors and Their Families – located at 91 Herzl St. in the Old City – 08-6270224. It amcha1has a gallery that displays art created by Holocaust survivors.

Activities & education for seniors

The Be’er-Sheva Welfare & Social Services Department, together with the “Matav” Association (founded 1958), provides activities for seniors at the various “Ha-Shalom” day-care centers – to register call 08-6209439 or 054-4627923 after 14:00. In 2016, the Council for a Beautiful Israel awarded their Decade of Outstanding Beauty Award to the Ha-Shalom” Elder Day Center in the Gimel neighborhood, run by “Matav.”

“Tarshish” a school for seniors located at the Kaye Teachers’ College that offers a variety of Hebrew academic and arts courses, as well as Hebrew lectures and guided trips – 08-6402818. 

The are now 6 Jewish religious schools across Be’er-Sheva for seniors in Be’er-Sheva: at Kolel “Iske Torah” in Daled; at “Minhat Yehudah” Synagogue in Neveh Ze’ev; at “Shirat ha-Rambam” Synagogue in the Old City; at Ahavat Hannah” Synagogue in Chabad HouseNahal Ashan; at the Judaica Library in the Chabad House in Aleph; and in the Rassco villas at the “Netivot Shalom” Synagogue.

“Kivunim’s Municipal Katedra” offers a wide range of Hebrew courses suited for katedraadults & seniors – 08-6414444, line #3, katedra@kivunim7.co.il.

The BGU Center for External [Adult] Education also offers a broad spectrum of academic courses that are open to the public, with special senior discounts – 08-6472626. 

The Be’er-Sheva Theater gives special matinee performances and senior discounts of all each season’s plays – 08-6206261, http://www.b7t.co.il.

Voluntarism for seniors

Be’er-Sheva is an exemplary leader in Israeli voluntarism and civic action, inBeersheba volunteers 2011 which volunteer organizations (NPOs) are coordinated by the umbrella organization “Re’em,” situated on the secondreem-national-logo floor of “Yad la-Banim” (located near City Hall), Sun.-Thurs. 9:00-12:00. Chairperson: Shoshana Agajany; Acting Director: Alin Haviv, 08-6416619, 054-4214251. Those trying to get an idea of where they might like to volunteer may go to Re’em and learn about the many options.

The Civilian Guard (“Mishmar Ezrahi”) trains and certifies volunteers (18-65) to dealMishmar Ezrahi logo with traffic infractions & accidents, terrorism, and other security Mishmar Ezrahi2matters in the city. The headquarters are located at 63 ha-Avot St. in the Old City – 08-6274347; Raz Shwimmer – 050-6277797.  

The Be’er-Sheva Soup Kitchen “Be’er-Sova” (lit., the well of sufficient sustenance, founded 2000) that provides free, hot cooked meals to ca.100 of the City’s indigent population each day and distributes “meals-on-wheels” to shut-ins. The food is served at  located in the Old City at 58 Morde ha-Geta’ot St. – Restaurant: 08-6233355; Office: 08-6412544. Donations of fresh food, contributions of funding, and hours of voluntary service are always appreciated.

The Lions Club “Achva ba-Nege“Orpaz” (lit., brotherhood in the Negev), that engages in Lions Club - Achva BaNegevvoluntary social action, meets at the “Avot ba-Negev” Elder Hostel at 12 Alfasi St. in Yud Aleph – President Emily Burstein 054-4818903; Secretary Dorit Vartsman 050-2974009. 

Be’er-Sheva seniors are invited to join “Friend of Education” (“Yadid la-Hinukh”) to do voluntary tutoring with elementary-school pupilsHannah Hadad 050-7699936, http://www.yadidla.org.il. 

The photo below shows the Founders’ Traffic Circle in the Aleph neighborhood, at the intersection of Balfour and Sokolov streets.Founders traffic circle 1

Pensioners are also welcome to join the project “Senior Citizens Make a Difference” and to do practical volunteer work in their spare time – 08-6268452, http://www.btl.gov.il.

Care of seniors

The Israel National Office for Social Equality has a special hotline for senior citizens *8840 that is on call from Sun.-Thur. from 8:00-20:00 and provides service in: English, Hebrew, Russian, Arabic, Amharic, English & French.

Be’er-Sheva has a number of companies that supply domestic/foreign (even English-speaking), part-time/round-the-clock caregivers, such as: “Matan” – 08-6200666Matan logo.jpg [After years of personal experience with both my parents, I highly recommend “Matan”]; “Amal” – 074-7292670; “D.N. Nursing Care Services” – 073-7588355; “Etgar” –  1-599-550-100; “Orpaz” – 08-6422194; and others.

Be’er-Sheva also has a growing number of decent elder hostels, old-age homes, sheltered & assisted-living facilities & nursing homes that offer safety and relative comfort along with social and cultural activities and medical oversight. They are located throughout the city and more such facilities are being built every year. Some of the larger residential Bet Yonah seniors' homeones are: “Gane Ye’elim – Bet Genyah” in Hey – 08-6101010; “Mish’an – Avot ha-Negev” in Yud Aleph – 08-9526709; “Bet Yonah” in Vav – 08-6407444; “Etanim” in Hey – 08-6199770; “Neveh Shva” in Daled – 072-3226544. There are also a number of smaller elder-hostel facilities, such as: “Butik Shvediyah” (reopened 2019) is located in Daled at 11 Shprintsak St., within “Bet Skandinaviyah” (founded 1996-) that offers a variety of activities. 


Soldiers–For You

All the Hebrew information and forms needed by I.D.F. draftees may be found online at: http://www.aka.idf.il/giyus/main.

Equipment and supplies for basic training/reserve duty may be found in a few stores, Retasuch as: “Tso’adim la-Hayyal vela-Metayel” (lit., marching for the soldier & trekker), located in the Egged Central Bus Station, store #24 – 08-6285872; “Reta” in “BIG” at 60 Hevron Way – 072-3258054 ; and “Ricochet” in “BIG” at 21 Hevron Way – 08-6285872.

To practice shooting, marksmanship & target practice in Be’er-Sheva one may go to the computerized, acoustic “Reta” Shooting Range at 60 Hevron Way – 072-3258054. 

Whenever enlisted soldiers encounter problems related to military service, for help, he/she should turn to Ketsin ha-Ir (lit., the City Major), located in the Old City at 49 Gershon (Dubenboim) St. – 08-9903139, 08-9903128.

The Advisory Unit for Decommissioned Soldiers is located at 10 Ben-Tsevi St. on the 10th floor of the Central Train Station Tower – 08-6204325/6.

A local support group for Israeli soldiers and veterans recovering from wounds or suffering from PTSD, Ahi’ad, is managed by the Israel Organization for Disabled Veterans (f.1949-) and is located at 9 Sderot Ben-Zion Carmel & reached at: 08-6251100.

The I.D.F. Southern Command has dedicated a special 24/7 phone line for civilian queries, complaints & suggestions regarding military matters – 08-9906565.

The local I.D.F. Homefront Command is located on the 4th floor of the Avisror Bldg. at 7 the-biggest-fishBen-Tsevi St. (across from the Central Bus Station) – 076-8600018, 08-9207341, and 104 in emergencies. During emergencies, civilian assistance is welcome.

Whenever a soldier needs somewhere to stay in Be’er-Sheva–he/she should go to “BetSoldier's House he-Hayyal” (the Soldiers’ Home) just above the Old City in the Tet neighborhood at 2 Bet Lehem St., where there are lodgings, hot kosher meals, sports, social activities and a swimming pool during the summer months – 072-2702159.

Member families in the “Eshel Avraham” Conservative Eshel Avraham SynagogueCongregation adopt solitary soldiers in need of a supportive ‘home’ environment for weekends, holidays & leaves – 08-6420989, 077-7117015.

If an enlisted soldier needs medical attention/treatment/sick leave–he/she should either go to Mahane Natan (lit., Camp Nathan), facing the Kiryat Yehudit IndustrialSoroka Medical Center 1 Park, located on Afikim ba-Negev St. or, in cases of serious injuries, to Ram 2″ situated within the Soroka Medical Center complex – 08-6400389 or 08-6400345.

Physiotherapy, hydrotherapy and the rehabilitation of wounded or disabled I.D.F. soldiers is done at “Beit Halochem” (the Veterans’ Home) founded in 2010 by the I.D.F. Disabled Veterans Organization, located at 9 beit_lohem_beer_shevaBents Carmel Ave., as well as providing social, cultural & sports events for the vets & their families – 08-6251100.

A Be’er-Sheva veterans’ club “Mo’adon ha-Shalom” (lit., the peaceIDF veterans logo club) meets a 80 Ye’elim Blvd. in Hey neighborhood – 08-6436579.

The Organization for the Commemoration of the Fallen Soldiers in Israel’s Wars & the Care of Their Families is situated in “Yad la-Banim” (the Soldiers’ Memorial Memorial for Fallen SoldiersHouse) near the Be’er-Sheva City HallThe Soldiers’ Memorial House honors the city’s military casualties and maintains a standing exhibit; annual memorial ceremonies are held on Israel Memorial Day for I.D.F. Casualties & the Victims of Terrorism.

Special Needs and Diets

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a ‘healthy city’ is one whose government puts health high on its agenda. The goal of the WHO Healthy Cities Network is to help cities develop and promote a comprehensive and systematic policy with special emphasis on the needs of vulnerable groups. In 2008, the City of Be’er-Sheva became a member of this international network. The following are only some examples of what exists in Be’er-Sheva to serve the needs of its special citizens.

Special physical needs

Some special associations:

Beershevan musician Rotem Kornfeld (b.2001-), whose parents work with disabled children at Kefar Refa’el, got his high-school education in the 1st anthroposophical school in the Negev (Neta Erez Yanuch Korczak”), in Beer-Sheva, studied violin at the local Conservatorium, and completed the local, municipal young social leadership training course “LEAD”founded (2020-) “Tsliley Musikah” [“The Sounds  of Music”] to teach and make music with young people (10-21) with & without special needs together.

The office of the Be’er-Sheva Association for the Blind/Visually-Impaired “Sheshet” (founded Pninah Amir1956, by Peninah Amiris located in the Blind Culture House at the corner of Sha’ul ha-Melekh & Mivsta Yo’av streets – 08-6435976.

“Tigbur”  (lit., reinforcement) is an employment agency that helps place disabled adults in appropriate jobs – 08-6280704.

The Organization for the Disabled and Widows of Victims of Work Accidents in the South is a NPO run by volunteers who assist disabled civilians and work-widows withyossi-dadush their problems. It is headed by Be’er-Sheva resident and City Council member Yossi Dadush (b.1955-), who is also the Chairman of the Israel National Association of Work-Accident Disabilities – 050-5394723.

Special handicapped driving systems may be installed into vehicles, for example, by  “Titkadem le-Taman” is located in the Kiryat Yehudit Industrial Park, 1 Totseret ha-Arets St. (inside the Schroder complex) – 08-6655044, http://www.tmn.co.il.

Some special facilities and activities:

In 2021, at the “Dekalim” School for Special Education, veteran music teacher, Zhana Mikhailov, created a successful choir, with the support of the local chapter of “Lions – Israel: Ahvah ba-Negev.” The members of the choir range in age from 13-21. Music is a perfect and joyful way to overcome disabilities.

Shai Grinberg (b.1996-), a professional dancer from Be’er-Sheva, founded the “Latados Dance Academy” for ballroom dancing. He also offers special therapeutic classes for sufferers of Parkinson’s disease.   

“Ogen Kehilati” (lit., community anchor, founded 2006), run by the “Yahdav”(lit. together) Organization and sponsored by the Rashi Foundation, is a youth village situated within a Be’er-Sheva residential neighborhood that serves as a residence for some 700 at-risk youths and also as an educational center for their families.

The Southern Deaf/Hearing Impaired Multi-Service Center is located in the Deaf Services CenterAleph Neighborhood at 10 Kaplan St., between Kaplan Square and SCE. It provides treatment, rehabilitation and family counseling to the entire southern region of Israel, as well as recreational, sports and cultural activities.

Since 2017, “ELIYA” – the national Organization for the Advancement of Blind/Visually-Impaired Children) has been running a new, special preschool and kindergarten rehabilitation center for blind/visually-impaired infants and children (ages 6 mos.-6 yrs.), located at 4 Amos Yarkoni St. in the new Vav neighborhood, with a special facility called “The Junk Yard” that provides guided experiential sensory-motor learning and independent ‘trial & error’ learning for children from the entire Negev Region – 08-6270971. 

The Ilan Center for severely disabled children is located in the Ramot neighborhood at Ilan Israel logo15-19 ha-Mada St. – 050-5620202.

“Merkaz Sport ha-Peninah” (founded by Peninah Amiris a special gym that serves people with all manner of physical disabilities, provides rehabilitative training, and a variety of regular sports clubs and events, also for the blind/visually-impaired and the deaf. Annual ping-pong tournaments for the deaf are held, sponsored by the Municipal Sports Dept.Handicapped sports center

The Meyerhoff Culture Center for the Blind (a.k.a. the “Blind House, founded 1998), located at the corner of Sha’ul ha-Melekh & Mivsta Yo’av Center for the blindstreets, is the main center for social, cultural & sports clubs and events for the local blind/visually-impaired – 08-6435976. It also has a library of audio books that may beGeorgina Meir-Dullmann heard. Georgina (“Gina”) Meyer-Dullmann introduced successful art and dance activities for the blind/visually impaired. This facility is also used by the “Nur (lit., light) Association” to serve the blind/sight-impaired Bedouin in the Negev Region  050-2296772

“Sheshet” (as a branch of “ELIYA” – the national Organization for the Advancement of Blind/Visually-Impaired Children) runs a habitative residence for blind/visually-impaired at 21 Havatselet ha-Negev St. in the Neveh Noy neighborhood – 08-6233460.

“Sheshet” also runs a special ‘sheltered’, rehabilitative workplace for the blind/visually-impaired, located at 113 Sha’ul ha-Melekh St. – 08-6468426.

Special therapeutic exercise classes for sufferers of fibromyalgia are given by Varda Varda Tsizer-KorelsteinTsizer-Korelstein – 052-2709300.

Wheelchair basketball is played at high-schools “Makif Alef” in the Gimel Handicapped basketballneighborhood and “Makif Rager” in Neveh Ze’ev, and at the “Veterans’ Home” at 9 Bents Carmel Ave. in the Ramot neighborhood. Wheelchair Israeli folk-dancing exists at the Ramot High-School.

Every Spring, ca.700 physically-disabled children come from the entire Negev RegionKaye Teachers College to Kaye Regional Teachers’ College to enjoy a Special Sports Day. Kaye College also offers special exercise classes for diabetic and obese children – 08-6402720.

“Shufersal Deal” supermarket set an example by making their facility wheel-chair accessible and even providing a special check-out counter for the disabled.Wheelchair

Some special equipment:

“Yad Sarah” (founded 1975) is a volunteer organization that rents/sells medical and nursing Yad Sarah - Jusidman Houseequipment (wheelchairs, walkers, bedguards, bedpans, etc.) at low cost on demand. It has two branches–one situated in the Jusidman House at 2 Sha’ul ha-Melekh St. and the other on the groundfloor of the Soroka Medical Center complex, Medical Services Bldg. – 08-9112000, 08-6450747, and at http://www.yadsarah.org Open: 10:00-15:00.

A large variety of special equipment and products (e.g. wheelchairs, adult diapers, etc.) may also be ordered for disabled or elderly people (with home delivery) from “Liberty” suppliers, located at 106 Herzl St. – 1-700-70-22-70 Open: 10:00-14:00.

Many classrooms in Be’er-Sheva have been specially equipped for hearing-disabled pupils. All public facilities in Israel are supposed to be wheelchair accessible by law.

Some special clothing:

People who suffer from sensitive skin or who are allergic to various synthetic materials can find natural, organic cotton clothing locally at “Cotton” clothing store at 91 Herzl St. in the Old City. 

Some special shoes:

People who suffer from various foot troubles can get orthopedic shoes or individually-crafted insoles in a number of stores, some situated in the Government Mall, such as “Medent” or  “Ofir Medical.”

Special intellectual or communication needs

Some special associations:

AKIM Be’er-Sheva (founded 1985) is an association for the habilitation of the intellectually challenged, located at 27 Herzl St. in the Old City – 08-6231190. The “Yahdav” (lit. together) Project, for those over the age of 18, prepares such people for employment; the “Lev” (lit. heart) Project is for those over the age of 21, to help them become self-sufficient & autonomous.

“ALUT” – The Israel Society for Children and Adults with Autism (founded 1974) is active in many educational and habilitative facilities in Be’er-Sheva – to volunteer: *9093; for help: 03-5718190, alut.org.il.

The Ami Association for the Care of People with Developmental Intellectual Disabilities is located in the Old City at 49 ha-Atsma’ut St. – 086409757.

“Yachdav”Association (Be’er-Sheva) for intellectually challenged adults is located at 1 Max Binett St. in Gimel neighborhood – 08-6209935.

Some special facilities:

“Keshet Elementary School for Autistic Children” – run by the Shulamit Society (NPO). Contact: Shirah – 050-8884479; shiraah@shlomit.org.il, in Old City, Hadassah 49. 

“Beit Homa” – Community of Negev Artists is located in Gimel neighborhood at Arlozorov 50. It is an art studio & gallery that focuses on the interface of art and mental health–the power of art as expression and therapy. They also sponsor exhibits of art by artists from the “Yozmah” (“Initiative”) Program. “Homa is run by Yogev Vanunu, Shahar Knafo, Ronen Mars, Liron Yifrah & Aviran Moyal.

Kaye College hosts the “Mikhlala Hevratit” (lit., the social college; founded ca.2014) that offers three courses of study for adult special intellectual or communication needs students: social; artistic; or professional. Each special student is personally accompanied by a mentor and the professional course is tailored to suit each individual special-needs student. Classes are held twice a week – Dr. Nitzan Cohen 054-4909128.  

“Kfar Irusim” (lit., village of irises; founded 2009) is a hostel, school, habilitative and social center for adults with autism, run by “ALUT” – The Israel Society for Children and Adults with Autism, with the assistance of volunteers from NPO “ha-Ru’ah ha-Tovah” (lit., the good wind/spirit). It provides housing, employment, individual mentoring & sociocultural activities, as well as lectures for volIrises near Be'er-Shevaunteers and family members. It’s located in the Ne’ot Lon neighborhood at 20 Ilan Ramon Way and has an additional facility at 25 Zalman Aranne St. in Yud Aleph – 08-6214566; Yuval 050-6514243; *9093.

The “Ma’as” Occupational Therapy Project for intellectually challenged adults is run by the “Yachdav” Association (Be’er-Sheva). The handicrafts/items produced by the Jews and Bedouins in this rehabilitative workshop are sold and offset the costs of their rehabilitation. This occupational rehabilitation center  is located at 1 Max Binett St. in Gimel neighborhood – 08-6209935.

Tigbur” is an employment agency that helps place intellectually challenged adults in appropriate jobs – 08-6280704.

AKIM Be’er-Sheva oversees 4 schools for people (aged 3-21) with developmental/intellectual disabilities and 4 afternoon leisure clubs that provide sports, art, dance, theater and other activities – 08-6231190.

The (Leonard) Cohen House of the Ami Association provides sheltered housing for intellectually challenged adults (aged ca.20-ca.75) in the Gimel neighborhood, under the direction of Ety Ya’akov – 08-6651661. 

Special psychological needs

Some special associations:

“Enosh,” – the Israeli Association for Mental Health offers help and rehabilitation for the psychologically challenged at its Be’er-Sheva branch, Enosh House (founded in 1989), located at 16 David Ben-Gurion Blvd. See: https://bit.ly/3DitfW6 or contact: Rita Roizman, 054-9299506, or via: rita.s@enosh.org.il. 

The NPO, “Rakefet” helps people to cope who have been traumatized by the COVID-19 pandemic or who suffer from social anxiety or extreme shyness. This association is directed by Avner Dafni  (its founder, b.1973-) and has 4 separate therapy groups for: children, teenagers, young people & adults.  077-2017032 and https://www.rakefet-group.org.il.

The Association for Equality and Justice for the Disabled, headed by Dalia Zilberman, trains disabled people to serve as advisors to others who are also disabled, to instruct them regarding their rights and to empower them – 28A Yosef Ben-Matityahu St., 08-6483456.

ERAN – Emotional First Aid by Telephone & Internet, 24/7 – dial 1201

  • Hotline for Holocaust Survivors & Families call 1-800-24-1201
  • Hotline for Soldiers, Veterans & Their Families call *2201.
  • Internet Hotlines go to the Hebrew website www.eran.org.il.
  • Hotline for the Elderly call *3201.
  • Russian Language Hotline call 1201 ext. 3.
  • Arabic Language Hotline call 1201 ext. 2 (12:00 – 20:00).

Alcoholism – Alcoholics who want to join discrete, local Alcoholics Anonymous support groups can contact either Ya’akov at 052-4088742 or Elinor at 052-4735219 for information.

The Municipal Center for the Treatment & Rehabilitation of Alcoholics and Compulsive Gamblers may be reached via 08-6206582 or alcohol@br7.org.il.

Drug Addiction – The Municipal Center for the Treatment & Rehabilitation of Drug Abusers – “Merkaz Hosen” may be reached via 08-6236198 or Hosen1@br7.org.il.

Some special facilities

The Society for the Prevention of Cancer provides guidance & moral support to cancer Edys House - Maaganpatients and their families in “Edy’s House – Ma’agan (founded 1999) at 13 Har Beka St. in the Ramot neighborhood – 08-6490802.

A privately endowed hostel and rehabilitation center helps chronic schizophrenics (aged 25-69). They’re taught arts & crafts and their works are sometimes exhibited at the “Avivim Gallery” in the “BIG” commercial center.

Special dietary needs and support

Gluten-free foods; sugar-free foods; and lactose-free products are available: at Be’er-Teva” in the Mall ha-Keshatot (lit., the Mall of the Arches, situated in the Leonardo Hotel) – 08-6285898; Eden Teva Market” at 21 Derekh Hevron –  1-800-468-468“Tavline Maimon”  in “BIG” – 08-6288218; and “Rotem” Natural Products on Rambam St. in the Old City – 08-6278006; as well as in special sections of most supermarkets.  

Those who need professional help to overcome obesity can turn to their specific HMO’s nutritionists or to the discrete, local “Weight-Watchers” (Heb., Shomre Mishkal) groups that meet at 3 different locations and at various days and times – *2480.

Some special facilities:

There are many vegetarian and some vegan restaurants and eateries around the city (several certified kosher; a few with ‘take-away’), and also a number of health food bars; they may easily be located via the Internet (by searching in either Hebrew or English).

Special bioenergetic or spiritual needs – mind & body alligned

To learn or become a practitioner:

Those who wish to study alternative medicine may do so at the Reidman College for Complementary and Integrative Medicine (e.g., natural nutrition, phytotherapy, holistic psychotherapy, reiki energy healing, zen-shiatsu, ayurvedic medicine, etc.), located at the Bet Yatsiv/Open Uinversity Campus in the Old City – 08-6237451, http://www.reidman.co.il. Holistic medicine (e.g., Thai massage, Chinese & herbal medicine, guided inagination, naturopathy, etc.) is taught at the Adar College for Natual Holistic Medicine, located at Kaye Teachers’ College – 1-800-303090, http://www.adar-college.org,

Some special treatment centers:

Those who seek unconventional/alternative psycho-physical/spiritual support or therapy can turn to the alternative medical clinics of their HMOs that offer therapeutic massages, reflexology, shiatsu, tui-na, acupucture, aroma therapy, and more. Be’er-Sheva also has a number of centers that offer: spiritual development via the study of mysticism, ancient wisdom, movement therapy (Merkaz ha-Or, lit., the center of light, at 96 Hadassah St. in the Old City – http://www.merkaz-haor.co.il); individualized therapy sessions, yoga for pregnant women, yoga for parents & children, holistic PT, hydrotherapy, Indian sauna, etc. (Ma’or” Center for Personal Development – Ariel 052-6303842; Anna 054-5931945, http://www.maor4u.co.il); and others. Moreover, there are spas, like: Mateh Midbar” at 22 ha-Histadrut St. – 08-6233370 and the New Olympus Spa at 10 Henry Kendall St.077-4260001, http://www.o-spa.co.il.

Some special therapists & practitioners:

The city also has a wide range of private unconventional/alternative therapists and practitioners, such as the following examples, who apply: Mediation & deeksha yoga (Yuval – 054-4798865 & Ravit – 054-4965597, http://www.deekshayoga.co.il); Chinese astrology & feng shui (Alia Kantor – 054-8010377); laughter yoga (Debbie Iancu – 054-6400043); falun gong/falun dafa (Nataly – 054-6330342 or Dina Gordon – 052-5549966, http://www.falundafa.org.il); tai chi (David Kafri – 050-2024596); reiki – the healing touch (Yaniv Bruder –  050-3399453); sujuk – treatment of palms of hands (Dolev Smile Center, 4/1 Asirey Tsiyon  St., 08-6236991); healing hands (Uri’el Garon – 052-6711407); chirology & palmistry (Elah Tadmor – 052-3371348); numerology (Shuki Gabay – 054-3055570); psychographology (Batyah Cohen-Kroytoro – 08-6519421, 050-6912303); tarot & palm reading (Shulah Mits – 08-6108323); healing gems – “Avne ha-hoshen” (Sarit’s Gallery, 113 ha-Palmah St. in the Old City – 050-8858535); rings & charms made of 5 metals inscribed with Hebrew letters & healing crystals (Mikha’eli Jewelry, 74 Keren Kayemet le-Yisra’el St. in the Old City – 08-6278064); to name just a few examples.