Special Amitsim Programs
Amitism strives to be an anchor for young widows and widowers so they can do the same for their young children.
Amitsim Drop-in Centers: A Second Home
Located in different towns and cities across Israel, Amitsim drop-in centers are like a second home to Amitsim members -- like a grandparents’ house. The goal is to expand to every city that contains at least two Amitsim families including within the Arab/Muslim communities.
Once a week from 4 pm-7:30 pm, families of young widows and widowers meet at Amitsim. The children participate in meaningful workshops like gardening and art, while the parents can connect with one another and consult with the
professional staff on site. Dinner is provided and the families eat together in a relaxed and warm environment.
Teenagers also come once a week on a separate day. They chat with a counselor, play games, and participate in therapeutic workshops such as music and cooking.
The Lolli Project
While it is good for families to get out and connect to positive places and people outside their homes, it is also imperative for them to bring positive energy into their homes. To that end, Amitsim has engaged the help of medical clowns to visit orphaned families to bring light into their homes. They deliver personal packages on the Jewish holidays of Purim and Hanukkah, and special gifts at the start of the school year.
Online National Support Group for Young Widows and Widowers
After suffering a loss, it is challenging for individuals to attend to the tasks of daily life, or to properly care for themselves and others. Amitsim provides a network of online and live support groups to ease their situation, enabling them to properly express themselves, and communicate with their surroundings. This helps them focus on the essential task of long-term healing. With the help of expert psychologists, these small, intimate groups empower young widows and widowers.
Online National Support Workshops for Young Children
Elementary-aged children, with common interests and experiences, connect with each other via Zoom. Amitsim makes sure young orphaned children from around the country who do not have an Amitsim drop-in center nearby, will enjoy the company of equals while sharing a hobby or mutual interest. The goal is to ensure orphaned kids grow up with a sense of meaning and motivation to achieve future goals.
These groups not only strengthen them in the present, but help promote healthy growth for the future.
Advocacy for Amitsim Members
Regional authorities take responsibility for this sphere as part of the social safety net that society must provide its citizens. Therefore, Amitsim seeks to influence their decision-making, by providing them with research and ideas for new initiatives. Additionally, Amitsim has established an advocacy group of 40 Israeli Knesset members to lobby for new legislation that benefits young families that have lost a parent and spouse.
When it comes to policy change, Amitsim advocates focus on the importance and meaning of the family unit. As a child grows up, his/her father and mother figures are irreplaceable. A solid family unit supports and builds a child’s emotional and mental health.
In Israel, like many Western countries, young widows, widowers, and their orphaned kids are not an independent entity with official rights. They are merely “dependent leftovers” of a deceased parent who paid social security.
As a result, city and government officials do not address the special needs of the young orphaned family. Widows and orphans are considered to be regular citizens with early rights for subjective pension. There is no recognition of their status. Amitsim’s goal is to change the status quo, bringing issues connected to these families to the forefront and to advocate for policy change.
Israel's Young Widows
And Orphan's Organization