What if you have no home?
In over 50 years of Girls Town Jerusalem, indeed, in the past 70+ years since the original Bayith Lepletot Home was founded, NEVER has such a situation impacted the children of our Homes like CONVID – 19 Pandemic. In the past, we’ve gone into shelters and into sealed rooms. In the past, we’ve tightened our belts and donned gas masks. Through wars and intifadah and rationing and radio-active threats, we’ve met the challenges as they have arisen.
ONCE AGAIN, BL – Girls Town Jerusalem is going beyond anything they have EVER been called upon to do to keep the children safe, secure and sheltered.
In keeping with the directives of the Ministry of Health, the Homes could not continue to hold classes in our educational facility. Nor would we be allowed to have the girls reside in the dormitory. Therefore, on a case-by-case basis, EACH and EVERY girl has either been placed with a family at TREMENDOUS cost; placed in limited number groups with mature counselors; taken into the homes of the housemothers or dormitory supervisor and staff or, where possible, returned to their families.
All of these options have entailed incredible amounts of financial outlays, which will somehow have to be made. Right now, herculean efforts have been made to ensure that each child will be in an environment that will make it possible to follow the guidelines of the Ministry of Health and in no way jeopardize the health and well-being of our children or anyone else.
Odelya Blum was born into a complicated family situation, which only went from bad to the unimaginable as she grew up. Both of her parents had been married and divorced, bringing their children from their first marriages into their new family. Unfortunately, when Odelya’s mother was expecting her, her father was killed in a car accident. Needless to say, this horrific tragedy shattered Mrs. Blum, and as hard as she tried she just could not pull herself together enough to provide a stable home for Odelya and her half-sisters.
Odelya was brought to BL - Girls Town Jerusalem by the social worker in charge of the Blum family so that she could receive the warmth and care she needed to help her develop properly. Although she was being raised in our Home she still had a close relationship with her mother. She was completely devastated when her mother fell sick, and passed away, leaving Odelya at the tender age of 10 years old a complete orphan.
One of Odelya’s half-sisters, Sara, who also grew up in our orphanage, made Odelya a part of her family. Sara provided her with a loving caring home to come to whenever she left the dormitory. When Odelya was about 14 years old Sara suddenly got sick and, shockingly, a short while later died. Odelya felt she lost her second mother. At this point, Girls Town Jerusalem was truly the only home that Odelya.
Tragically, a couple of years later one of Odelya's step-brothers was killed in a motorcycle accident. At this point she was totally shattered. She was overwhelmed with grief and dread - will she be next? With a tremendous amount of love and support from the staff and her therapist, Odelya has learned to accept her situation, has built security and self-image, and is looking forward to a bright future.
*names and pictures have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals