ELEM first Israeli organization working with at-risk youth granted Special Consultative Status by the U.N.

ELEM first Israeli organization working with at-risk youth granted Special Consultative Status by the U.N.

 ELEM’s selection marks the first time that an Israeli organization has been chosen by the U.N. Economic and Social Council, to receive special consultative status in the field of at-risk youth.

The U.N. Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) has granted ELEM – for Youth in Distress in Israel, Special Consultative Status on the matter of at-risk youth. ELEM is the first Israeli organization dealing with youth in distress that has received this status. This role will allow ELEM to share the organization’s years-long experience and to assist the U.N. council’s work, advise about developments and phenomenon in the field of youth in distress, develop professional relationships with similar organizations around the world, and raise global awareness about the importance of supporting teens and young people at risk.

This honor was granted by the ECOSOC following a recommendation by a panel consisting of 19 representatives of U.N. member nations. ELEM met strict criteria including innovation, independence, organizational structure, and promotion of social and legislative change. In addition, this honor recognizes how unique ELEM’s methods are. ELEM seeks out and identifies vulnerable youth in a variety of situations, guides them through therapy, mentoring and assistance that allow these youths to reclaim their lives and become contributing members of society.

Inbal Dor Kerbel, ELEM’s Executive Director: “ELEM is proud to humbly represent Israel in the United Nations and be the first Israeli organization to consult the U.N. about youth in distress. This is a golden opportunity to raise awareness of the issue, learn from other organizations worldwide, and have a global impact. This is a very touching acknowledgment of the hard, years-long work done by hundreds of ELEM’s staff members and thousands of volunteers, supporting youth in distress.”

Inbal Dor Karval – Credit- ELEM

ELEM – for Youth in Distress in Israel was founded 36 years ago, with one goal – assisting youth in distress. ELEM was created with social responsibility in mind, and with the goal of changing these youths’ circumstances. In the past year, ELEM helped tens of thousands of young men and women, be it on the streets, at ELEM’s youth centers, on-line, by mentorship towards independence and more.

Mrs. Nava Barak – Credit – ELEM

ELEM’s president for over 20 years has been Mrs. Nava Barak, and Mr. Shlomo Yanay is its Chairman. ELEM specializes in recognizing crises that stem from the reality of youth in Israel, and developing and practicing innovative, relevant solutions to deal with those crises, while not neglecting the specific individualized needs of different demographics.

ELEM runs 82 different projects in 42 cities all across Israel. These projects serve and assist 21,000 youths annually. ELEM employs 285 top of the line therapy and counseling professionals, who work alongside 2000 volunteers who create long-lasting, meaningful relationships with the youth. Together, they assist tens of thousands of youths every year and meet these young people on their own turf: on a nightly basis on the streets and in the clubs, on-line, at schools, in their communities during the afternoons, and in specifically focused field activities during the summer break.

Kuntres Chof Menachem Av: How to Add the “Alef”

Dvar Malchus 770

The Rebbe mentions numerous times in these talks that everything that is necessary for the Geuloh is already here, we simply need to add the letter “alef” to the word gola (which means exile), thereby transforming it to Geuloh.  But what exactly does it mean to add an “alef” to the exile that we are in?

There are many levels to answering this question, the most basic of which is that it means revealing Hashem (the ruler of the world, “alufo shel olam“) in the world through Torah and Mitzvos.  Additionally, it means recognizing Hashem’s Divine Providence that is behind everything, even those things which appear to us as the opposite of good.

We find an even deeper and more comprehensive explanation in the Chassidic Discourse that was edited by the Rebbe and published in 1991 in honor of the Hillula (anniversary of the passing) of the Rebbe’s father, Levi Yitzchak…

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Shabbos Nachamu, 5751: Why Golus is So Long

Dvar Malchus 770

The name of this first Shabbos after the fast of Tisha b’Av is called “Shabbos Nachamu”, named after the haftora in which we read the words “Nachamu, nachamu ami” (“nachmu” meaning “be comforted”).  It is the comforting that follows the  mourning period over the destruction of the first and second Beis Hamikdash.  The true comfort,  says the Rebbe, is the rebuilding of the Third, eternal, Beis Hamikdash.

The reason the haftora says “nachamu” twice is to emphasize that this comforting, meaning the Geulah, is coming in two directions: from Above to below and from below to Above, each of which corresponds to the destruction of one of the Beis HaMikdash.  The first Beis Hamikdash was characterized by great, miraculous revelations from Above, but it was not eternal because these great revelations were not internalized in the world; the second Beis Hamikdash showed the emphasis on the effort from below…

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