Mitzvah Projects

NATAL Mitzvah Projects

“How wonderful it is that no one need wait a single moment to start to improve the world.”  – Anne Frank

What is NATAL?

NATAL is the largest and most comprehensive trauma treatment organization in Israel, providing help to all Israelis struggling with psychological trauma related to the security situation in Israel, terrorism and war.

With multiple programs, 200 therapists and 180 highly trained volunteers throughout the country, NATAL is an apolitical nonprofit, helping all Israelis – Jewish, Muslim or Christian. Since 1998, the organization has changed the lives of hundreds of thousands of Israelis by providing support for trauma survivors, and advancing the resiliency of Israeli society through treatment, prevention, public awareness and research.

NATAL’s Work with Teenagers Like You!

We all experience stress. Young people in Israel experience the same stressors as young people in the United States, but also have added pressures related to the constant security threat in Israel. Israeli youth have had to live through war, military conflicts, and countless terror attacks that have occurred in the cities and towns in which they live.

In fact, 70% of all children living in the south of Israel exhibit symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) because of the ongoing fear of rocket attack and danger.

Even in times of relative calm, the stress of living “in the line of fire” may feel overwhelming and make it difficult to function “normally” without outside help. Young people may feel depressed and anxious. They may not be able to sleep or concentrate in school. They may withdraw from family and friends, and may become irritable or even aggressive Some even develop health problems such as severe stomach aches or headaches.

NATAL is there to help…NATAL offers:

  • A telephone Helpline teenagers can call at any time for immediate and ongoing support
  • An online forum for teenagers to get information and peer support
  • Individual and family therapy in clinics throughout Israel
  • Mobile units that treat families in their homes during a crisis and afterwards
  • Support and skill building groups
  • Leadership development groups, cultivating personal strengths to deal with crises, and empowering teens to help others during those times

HOW YOU CAN HELP

There are many ways that you, as a Bar or Bat Mitzvah, can partner with NATAL in providing help to children and teens in Israel. Here are some options to think about—some more involved than others. Feel free to be creative and know we are here to provide assistance.

Help us to create awareness of the challenges Israeli teenagers face, and how NATAL helps.

  • Speak about NATAL, as part of your Bar or Bat Mitzvah speech, or at your celebration.
  • Write about NATAL—for your synagogue newsletter, school or Facebook page.
  • If your community has an Israel Festival, exhibit NATAL at a booth.
  • Learn some of the coping or resiliency skills NATAL teaches teenagers (such as relaxation exercises), and teach them to a group of your family or friends.
  • Organize a Skype call to interview a person who works at NATAL—for your Sunday school class or even a group of adults.

Help to create awareness and provide financial support for NATAL

  • Create a NATAL fundraising campaign that your friends and family can donate to in recognition of your Bar or Bat Mitzvah — Visit https://rootfunding.com/campaigns/afn-bnai-mitzvah-project or contact us to get started!
  • Donate a portion of your Bar or Bat Mitzvah gifts to NATAL, or suggest that guests make a contribution in your honor.
  • Organize a parent-child walkathon, bike-a-thon or basketball tournament in your community.
  • Create a community art project to send to children in the South of Israel, such as a mural. Ask each community member to make a donation in order to participate.

Visit the NATAL Center in Tel Aviv, to hear more about our work first-hand!

We at NATAL hope you consider partnering with us and are available to answer questions and help you to create a project that best suits you.