Jerusalem Crisis Intervention Center
“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.
Dr Esti Galili-Weisstub is the Director of the JCIC.
I want to share a story with you that still sends shivers down my spine, because it could have been my granddaughter.
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 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.
My reason for contacting you is to again ask for your support. 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…”
Please support Rachel, and the many other children like her in Jerusalem, by sending your powerful, tax- deductible gift to the JCIC today.
With my warmest wishes,
Ron Finkel, President.
The JCIC saved a son’s life.
Not long after the first ‘lone wolf’ attacks in 2015, a 13 year-old boy was stabbed by two older Palestinian boys near Jerusalem. He was rushed to Hadassah Hospital where a medical team was able to stabilise him. They saved his life, but his future was in the hands of the JCIC.
Dr Esti Galili-Weisstub, Director of the JCIC said:
In a situation like this there can be other, often unseen victims as well. His mother and brother were so traumatised they couldn’t function. Our clinic was able to provide them with treatment, and provide the family with a pathway to recovery. If you don’t offer immediate and professional assistance it will become problematic, which is the worst possible outcome for the individual, their family and society. It will create an economic burden that Israel simply cannot afford.
The shock for the boy’s mother was compounded by the fact that she felt helpless. That, in turn, compromised her ability to care for her son and other family members. It was that cycle of hopelessness that the JCIC was able to stop. Without it, it would have led to family dysfunction and a spiral that can be very difficult to control.
Ron Finkel, the President of Hadassah Australia, said that our good fortune in Australia shouldn’t absolve us from making a conscious effort to help. “It’s precisely because we don’t live like this that we have a responsibility to care for those who do.”
Rachel’s letter to Dr Noga Uman-David, clinical psychologist and instructor in the Child and Adolescent Post Trauma Treatment Center at the JCIC.
The Jerusalem Crisis Intervention Center story
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.
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.
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
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.”
NB: For the latest report on the work of the JCIC and recent case studies involving its young clients, see below.