I received the following e-mail from Rabbi and Rebbetzin Micha and Yehudis Golshevsky, who have known Basy and Raviv Shaked, the founders and heads of Tzofiah High School, for years. With their word about the importance and credibility of this organization, I know for sure that it is extremely worthy. Please read the e-mail below and consider donating online or mailing a check to one of the addresses below.
Q. Who is helping young girls from frum families in crisis? Girls abandoned, orphaned or raised in extremely dysfunctional homes, who turn to drugs, alcohol, promiscuity, petty theft, self-mutilation & eating disorders?
A. Tzofiah High School in Ramat Beit Shemesh, founded by Rabbi Raviv & Basy Shaked.
Tzofiah's students, girls from "glatt kosher" homes…
Meet Malki, the youngest of eight children from NY. One Friday night, when Malki was ten years old, her parents got into an argument. Huddled outside the bedroom, she & her twin brother were petrified by their mother's screams. Peeking through a crack in the doorway, they watched their father beat their mother until she was no longer screaming. While their father sat in prison for murder, Malki lived with a single relative who expected her to help with expenses by stealing from local supermarkets. By the time she got to Tzofiah, Malki was full of rage, tearful, distrustful & almost incapable of engaging in any form of relationship. To make matters worse, her life skills were non-existent & she was reading at the level of a second grader.
After two very challenging years at Tzofiah, Malki was able to say: "I don't do stupid things anymore because I love myself too much! I never thought I'd be able to read & now I'm getting A's just like all my friends! I have a job & it doesn't overwhelm me. I can't believe this is me!"
An unusual story? Unfortunately I can easily tell you sixty more tales of severe crisis in the Jewish community.
Tzofiah…pikuach nefesh, every day…
Tzofiah, a dormitory school, founded in 2000 for English-speaking girls from the US , Israel and other countries, addresses their mental health needs as well as offering them a high school diploma, a certified vocation & an opportunity to re-explore Judaism & become productive members of society.
Thank G-d, our success rate is astounding, with happily-married alumni raising healthy children in Jewish communities around the world, alumni who have graduated college with degrees in psychology, education & business, alumni who have moved on to nursing school & other Masters programs.
It's hard to believe that these successful, put-together young women were once loud, red-eyed, pierced & hooded angry teens, hanging out at street corners till the wee hours of the night.
Most of the presently-enrolled girls are planning to return for a 2nd year of growth & support. Indeed, many feel that Tzofiah is a 2nd home & the Shakeds & other staff members are like family.
Why am I writing this?
Because the Shakeds face a serious dilemma:
After a year of building trust & telling the girls that finally someone is there for them, can Tzofiah refuse them for a 2nd year due to lack of funds?
Can they say: "Yes, we care about you but only if you can foot the bill."?
Must love come with a price tag???
And what about the many girls praying to begin in Tzofiah next year? Girls holding on by sheer will to survive a summer of neglect & abuse, until they can get to Israel?
Caring for these needy teens is a costly effort for Tzofiah & the debts are mounting. But what is the alternative? To send these precious Jewish souls back to the streets? To lawlessness & violence? It is time for all caring Jews to help the Shakeds shoulder this burden.
Rabbi Shaked will be happy to contact you & tell you more about this special school. Please see this as the emergency it is & do your part for Klal Yisroel.
You May Mail Your Tax-Deductible Donation (Specify at Bottom of Check "Student Scholarships") To:
American Friends of Tzofiah
874 East 9th St.
Brooklyn, NY, 11230 USA
718-258-8659 - 917-846-1941 (cell)
In Israel (only $ checks are tax-deductible):
13/1 Nachal Micha
Ramat Beit Shemesh 99000 Israel
Ramat Beit Shemesh
For more information about Tzofiah, please visit our website.
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