29th April – 6th May
Every year, thousands of released Israeli combat soldiers face the difficult transition back into civilian life. Many spend months overseas as a means to discharge and mitigate the psychological trauma they faced during their military service. Released soldiers can suffer from a myriad psychological difficulties ranging from sleep disorders, substance abuse, difficulties in relationships, aggressiveness, and PTSD.
‘Peace of Mind’ is a unique program that has been developed by the Israel Centre for the Treatment of Psychotrauma. It provides a bridge and pathway back to civilian life for young men and women who have served for 3 or more years in high risk combat units in the Israel Defence Forces.
The core of the program is being hosted by the overseas Jewish community during the most intensive therapeutic work. This is a crucial element of the program because their disengagement from Israel during the therapeutic process is central to their healing. Receiving acceptance and warmth from the Diaspora Jewish community gives soldiers a sense of love, support and purpose in defending the State of Israel.
How you can get involved
Hampstead are hosting soldiers during the Peace of Mind week from 29 April to 6 May. We now have 4 confirmed families to each host 2 Israeli soldiers. But we still need 5 more families to host soldiers during the Peace of Mind Week.
Should you decide to host, we are sure you will find it a very worthwhile commitment.
The men are generally out all day from 8:00am until and including the evening. There are a couple of evenings including the Friday night which would involve you and your family.
Please see the full programme for the week here, which is a more practical guide to what the week entails.
If you are unable to host please donate
Please help us fund the programme which costs £40,000. This covers the week of intensive therapy while the men are here plus all the expenses. It also covers therapy back in Israel – altogether it is a 9-month programme. We are asking the whole community to help with this – the onus is not on host families to provide the money, though obviously if hosts would like to donate, we would be delighted. So far we have raised £6,000, so we still have a way to go!
Please donate here. (Select Hampstead Shul and reason other: Peace of Mind)
For more information about the programme please contact the Hampstead Shul office.