Dear Friends,


Bringing Hope, Building Renewal, Boosting Resilience


I know that so many of you were closely watching events in Israel over these past days and I know that you are thinking of all of us here in Jerusalem.

The night between Saturday and Sunday certainly increased tension and stress, but I think we were all surprised by how quickly we went back to normal on Sunday morning – or at least what we call the wartime new ‘normal’.

Maybe this is our real resilience – the ability to continue on with ‘normal routine’.  However, many of us will continue to carry this stress, anxiety and trauma inside for many days, weeks, months and years to come. And for many more, including the most vulnerable and those already under terrible stress and trauma from events on and since October 7th, this can all be very overwhelming. It is estimated that, because of the events of these past months, more than 500,000 people in Israel will suffer from PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder).

 In spite of everything that has happened and the unprecedented direct attack from Iran, now is a time of renewal and a time of hope. Spring and Passover come together to remind us that renewal and healing are priorities. That resilience and strength can only take place as part of a larger process and a communal experience.

The ‘day after’ still sounds far away but is actually already here. And this requires us to take the lead in finding novel ways to respond to the growing needs. This led us to our new initiative to partner with Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem in establishing a trailblazing center in the city for resilience and healing.

Together we have begun a long journey. It will be a sometimes painful but mainly healing journey. The journey will introduce to the medical establishment a new tool to the existing toolbox through an innovative psychotherapy approach that will help to heal and support many people with PTSD across Israel. We know that this is the way to move forward and heal our community, to rebuild trust and resilience, to boost civil and professional leadership, and to support our young leaders, such as Dr. Sinai Oren who will lead the center and be its chief psychiatrist.

Jerusalem will once again take the lead and bring hope with this new center, driven by young professionals, innovative thinking and cutting-edge, therapeutic approaches. The Jerusalem Foundation will lever its well-established partnerships with artistic and creative organizations and institutions to provide art, music, dance and movement therapies that will accompany ketamine-assisted psychotherapy (KAP).

Fifty of the best therapists for treating PTSD in Israel came together at Mishkenot Sha’ananim for a three-day inspiring and meaningful training conference to learn more about a groundbreaking approach to PTSD therapy, a process assisted by ketamine. The conference was a partnership with the experts in this field from Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem. World experts in this field also took part, including from Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. Together, all these parties are taking the first step in establishing the resilience center that will treat numerous people in Israel who are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorders.

The psychiatrist, Dr. Kevin Stoloff, who came especially to Jerusalem from Cape Town, South Africa to provide training and share his experience at the conference, spoke with great emotion at the end of the three days. “What are we doing? What is our role? We choose to dedicate our lives to the mental health of our patients. I don’t see myself ‘fixing’ people, such as my colleagues in orthopedics. Our work is different and complex. The most important thing of all is to be able to sit with people, in their pain, and if possible try to help them even a little along the way.  And at the same time, we also need to take care of ourselves and to continue to live balanced lives – this is the great challenge of doing what we do.”

“I am feeling extremely emotional by parts of unspoken energy that are coming from all different directions. So I want to say how brave you all are, particularly at this time, and that you are progressive and want to do something different and move forward to work at the boundaries, the edge. I am sorry for your losses. Thank you for sharing, beautifully, your energies and putting yourselves out there. Go well and do good…”

As the person who opened the conference and attended its last session, I was deeply moved by this unique therapeutic approach and the deep professional responsibility of the therapists. I truly believe in the long-term positive effects that this can have on healing and bringing hope for the future.

The Jerusalem Foundation – understanding what lies ahead and what trauma has already mounted since October 7th – has already been supporting and investing in various approaches and places in Jerusalem for therapy for those who suffer the most. Ein Yael was established by the Jerusalem Foundation and is uniquely located at an archeological site that was an ancient farm. With our backing, Ein Yael was transformed partially into a special nature therapy center where survivors of the Nova Music Festival have already been treated and many others are finding their way there. The natural environment can also heal and provide a source of resilience.


Another special healing site supported by the Foundation has been HaMiffal Art Center where refugees from southern and northern communities visit and experience therapy through art. And Mishkenot Sha’ananim has created a unique series of programs for the elderly, including Holocaust survivors, who are especially vulnerable during times of emergency. The elderly are often left behind when crisis happens and they may feel isolated and relive past traumas. Being able to heal with each other in the breathtaking setting of Mishkenot Sha’ananim has made a great difference for them.



In all these ways and more, we are working to heal Jerusalem and heal people across Israel. People from different backgrounds, different communities, different ages and different traumas but all part of the same communal experience.



We are focusing on healing, renewal and bringing hope, and on the good days that will come. This Pesach will be different than all we have known before, but still spring comes, and renewal is part of new hope.


Chag Pesach Sameach – Happy Passover.


And most important of all:

Bring Them Home Now!

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