Dialog Box

Jerusalem Crisis Intervention Center (JCIC)

Supporting children and adolescents in Jerusalem suffering from trauma, loss, anxiety and stress.

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The Jerusalem Crisis Intervention Center (JCIC) provides immediate treatment to children and adolescents suffering psychological trauma, stress, anxiety and PTSD.

The JCIC is a division of Hadassah University Medical Center’s Unit of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Its inaugural Director was the inspirational Dr Esti Galili-Weisstub, and her successor and current Director is Dr Amit Shalev, a leader in his field, who heads a team of dedicated professionals unsurpassed in Israel.

Most of the young clients have a time-critical need.

The team’s vital daily efforts are saving young lives in the largest, poorest and most diverse city in Israel, a city with an alarmingly high rate of youth trauma.

The team works tirelessly, treating and supporting children and adolescents suffering psychological trauma, stress, anxiety, loss, depression and PTSD.

The mission of the Child & Adolescent Services is to significantly improve the health and well- being of children and adolescents of Jerusalem. The JCIC is focused on evaluating and treating young clients in need of urgent professional help. Some may suffer from early-stage post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other developed self-harming and suicidal behaviour as an expression of their deep and complex psychic pain.

Dr Esti Galili-Weisstub

Former Director

The JCIC provides:

  • Vital early screening
  • Short-term intervention
  • Tailor-made treatment plans in crisis intervention – identifying the special needs of each child and integrating appropriate therapies

The need for a service for children in psychological distress is great, and while the JCIC has provided that service, Hadassah Australia has provided substantial funding to ensure its operational viability. The partnership has endured successfully ever since 2006, something that we are incredibly proud of. As with Hadassah Hospital, the JCIC has an open-door policy and provides effective treatment options for children and youth, and their families, irrespective of race, religion, nationality, gender or financial status.

We can’t erase the event. But we can help children and adolescents make sense of it and continue to grow and develop in spite of that experience. Traumatic events shatter a person’s natural sense of security and we can help them trust again. To be psychologically affected by trauma means horrible disability that doesn’t show up in physical external scars. It also means that one can become less trusting and less optimistic about the future, less creative and less empathetic to others. We pride ourselves in our ability to address each child and each family’s needs. In a deep sense we feel it’s our calling to do this work.

Dr Esti Galili-Weisstub

Former Director

SEE INTERVIEW with Dr Esti Galili-Weisstub and Dr Amit Shalev: Treating 'Collective Trauma' 

Case study: Rachel

Rachel is a 10 year-old girl who recently made aliyah with her parents, Ilana and Yossi. They were walking along Herzl Boulevard, when a car driving at high speed mounted the curb and smashed into a group of people standing at a bus stop. It happened barely 20 metres away and if not for Rachel’s insistence on picking up a coloured bauble she found on the footpath, they could have been in the group…

While everyone was physically okay, the emotional response in Rachel was frightening. Within a matter of days she became unresponsive, refusing to leave the house or even take a shower alone.

The emotional response in Rachel was frightening. Within a matter of days she became unresponsive. 

Fortunately, Rachel’s school was aware that Hadassah Hospital is the home to one of Israel’s jewels in dealing with childhood trauma: the Jerusalem Crisis Intervention Center. This internationally-acclaimed centre is an Israeli leader in the treatment of psychologically-damaged and traumatised kids. The psychologists at the JCIC reassured Rachel that it wasn’t her fault; no-one could have predicted this lone wolf attack, be it the timing or the location. They knew from bitter experience what was needed to support the family while introducing an appropriate therapeutic regime for the child. 

Rachel felt powerless and was traumatised as a result of witnessing a terror attack. The JCIC helped bring our girl back to us.”

Ilana, Rachel’s mother.

Position, title, location etc.

Rachel is one of more than 2,000 victims of terror who have been treated at the JCIC over the last 10 years. The upsurge in violence over the last nine months has put enormous strain on the JCIC’s resources. Your generosity will help Rachel, her family and many others like them make the difficult and challenging journey back to sound mental health and provide vital relief from their psychological stress. As Rachel so movingly wrote in her letter to her JCIC therapist, “ I feel that I am fine and I started my life again… because you helped me to pass the hard life. I know I won’t forget the terror attack but at least I don’t think about it every day and every time…”

Help us save young lives

Support the at-risk children of Jerusalem today by donating to the Jerusalem Crisis Intervention Centre at Hadassah Hospital.

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