Ahava Village for Children & Youth holds a special place in the heart of Bnai Zion. Nestled in a quiet residential area of the northern town of Kiryat Bialik, Ahava is a center for children ages six to eighteen coming from high-risk home situations. Comprised of fifteen apartments, educational facilities and leisure areas, the campus is home to two hundred children, who receive personalized care, support and training. The children live in apartments with foster parents who provide a loving and family-oriented environment, and they attend school at the village.
Designed to help children overcome the stresses of a severely dysfunctional background, Ahava offers a variety of activities and therapies. The village plays a leading role in integrating these children into Israeli society to be useful citizens leading fulfilling lives – and on a very limited budget.
In 1938, with the Holocaust imminent, Ahava was moved to Israel. The shelter came to mean the difference between survival and destruction for the last group of 50 European children who had legal papers for entrance to Palestine.
Since then, Ahava has become synonymous with safety and refuge for children in need. It has cared for the young survivors of the Holocaust, refugees, and children of families suffering war casualties. Currently Ahava tends mainly to children who have been stung by war, terror, violence, abuse, crime or addiction. Ahava’s goal of saving children has never wavered in its more than 75 years of existence.
The Ahava Children and Youth Village in northern Israel cares for over 200 children in a nurturing atmosphere providing physical and emotional stability.
In 1991, Ahava adopted a revolutionary Family Care System which models a real family environment. The residents live in apartments consisting of 16 children in a 4-bedroom unit, supervised by a “foster family” who is there to act as surrogate parents. Each child has a responsibility to the “family unit” such as meal preparation, cleaning, laundry, etc. On a weekly basis the residents get together to celebrate shabbat in the new social hall funded by Bnai Zion. This system assures that children are nurtured to their maximum potential.