THE GUIDANCE CENTER
An essential resource for all former lone soldiers nationwide
HaBayit shel Benji’s Guidance and Support Center is open to all released lone soldiers (not just to former residents of the Bayit) and provides support programs to over 500 young people a year, as they make the difficult transition to civilian life. The goal is to help them achieve sufficient stability to become independent, productive, and well-adjusted citizens.
These young people do not have a supportive family who will be there for them if they make mistakes, get into debt or choose an unsuitable education track. This is why it is so important to provide them with support and guidance during this new chapter of their lives.
HOW DO WE HELP?
Our guidance and support process begins with an entry interview to assess the needs of each new participant. The candidate works together with the staff of the Guidance Center to develop a comprehensive guidance and support program that addresses all the following subjects necessary to any citizen in Israel:
- finding a 'starter' job while deliberating about a future career;
- finding and furnishing a place to live;
- learning how to manage finances wisely;
- higher education;
- immigration procedures;
- navigating Israeli bureaucracy.
Each participant is then linked with a mentor, chosen on the basis of similar background and location. For instance, we will link a new immigrant from the Ukraine with a Russian-speaking mentor; a soldier who left his religious lifestyle will be linked with a mentor who has also left a religious background behind, etc.
Our mentors are volunteers who dedicate much of their free time to helping these young adults advance their life goals. We invest a great deal of time and effort recruiting and training volunteers and building them into a professional, supportive team.
We have 150 mentors, and over 150 "knowledge experts" who are specialists in their particular fields in various key areas of Israeli society, e.g.banks, health funds, hospitals, National Insurance Institute, Income Tax offices, leading Israeli companies, etc. These volunteers make themselves available at any time to help any of our participants in need of specific assistance and solve specific problems.
The Guidance Center has an Intranet forum with all the training materials, updates and relevant contact information for our mentors and lecturers. The forum is accessible to the participants, mentors and our experts in various fields to facilitate the sharing of information and knowledge.