The Jerusalem Crisis Intervention Center (JCIC) is saving young lives in a city with the highest rate of youth trauma in Jerusalem. Hadassah Australia was responsible for its founding and funding support. Many of the young clients who come to the JCIC have a time-critical need. As the name implies, the centre was established to deal with the high rate of youth trauma in Jerusalem, the highest of any city in the country. The JCIC, which opened in 2006, is a division of Hadassah University Medical Center’s Unit of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Until then, the waiting time for young people to access public mental health services in Jerusalem was up to 12 months. Its Director is Dr Esti Galili, an inspirational leader in her field who heads a team of dedicated professionals that are unsurpassed in Israel. Dr Galili says:

“The mission of the JCIC is to significantly improve the health and well-being of children and adolescents of Jerusalem. We operate a walk-in crisis centre where our young clients suffering from early stage post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and psychological stress can seek immediate evaluation and treatment.”

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

There was a desperate need for an alternative service for children in psychological distress, and while the JCIC provided that service, it was Hadassah Australia that provided substantial funding to ensure its operational viability. The partnership has endured successfully ever since, 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 their race, religion, nationality, gender or financial status.


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.

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…”