Human Services

ELEM/ Youth in Distress in Israel

Off the Streets and On to Life

aka ELEM   |   New York, NY   |  www.elem.org

Mission

ELEM is dedicated to transforming the lives of troubled youth in Israel. Our 280 streetwise professionals and 1700 volunteers proactively seek at-risk youth on the streets, and earn their trust. Our innovative programs in 43 cities don’t require referrals and provide safe spaces for counseling, mentoring and job training.

Ruling year info

1983

Principal Officer

Ms. Lenore Ruben

Main address

224 West 35th Street, 11th Floor

New York, NY 10001 USA

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EIN

13-3171815

Cause area (NTEE code) info

Children's and Youth Services (P30)

Counseling Support Groups (F60)

Youth Community Service Clubs (O51)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Across Israel there are tens of thousands of youth in need of additional support services. Our youth face tremendous challenges such as domestic violence, substance abuse, neglect, bullying, homelessness and prostitution. In many instances, the home is not a safe place for these teens to be. Rampant poverty, child abuse and unstable home environments often push youth to the streets to find comfort or some sort of escape from their problems. As they seek an outlet in the streets, teens turn to drug use, alcohol abuse, prostitution and other illegal activities to be able to survive from day to day. Furthermore, like the average teenagers, our youth are not likely to ask for help nor seek out services in a healthy manner.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Awake At Night- Erem Balayla

This project aims to reduce commercial sexual exploitation of minors; to reduce emotional and physical damage from sexual abuse; and to advocate for these youth. The project provides positive adult role models, encourages youth to exercise their rights and provides alternatives to the world of prostitution to enable youth to gradually exit this way of living. Awake at Night (called Halev 24/7 - The Heart 24/7 in Tel Aviv) also provides immediate assistance, such as a hot meal, a help hotline and counseling services.

Population(s) Served
At-risk youth
Sex workers

Migdalor works with adolescents who find it difficult to integrate into traditional educational institutions.  At the centers youth can work on academic studies, practice athletics or music, and attend a variety of workshops on issues of particular interest to them. The center uses hobbies to provide youth with  the support, equipment, space and time to practice their passion and have a social-therapeutic experience. Youths can enjoy music, photography, chess, therapeutic gardening, athletics and horseback riding and more. These activities provide youth with a nonverbal “language” to express their emotions and to channel negative or destructive energy into positive, creative energy. They serve as innovative and effective tools for working with youth from various cultural groups.

Population(s) Served
Non-adult children
Adolescents (13-19 years)

Operating since 2002, Someone to Run With - Mishehu Larutz I'to is a drop-in center that provides emotional support, medical care, medical supplies, hot meals, warm clothing and showers to homeless young adults. Youth receive assistance in contacting community services and in locating temporary living accommodations in hostels or rented apartments. One day a week, the center is open exclusively for young women, so that the specific needs of this population can be addressed. In cases where there is motivation for change, the young adults are offered the opportunity to take part in a long term rehabilitative, therapeutic process.

Population(s) Served
At-risk youth
Non-adult children

A national network of youth counseling and information centers. The centers, located across the country, offer group and individual counseling, assistance and support. Operating since 1999, the centers are designed like cafes and enable youth to meet with professionals and volunteers in a relaxed manner, as well as providing opportunities to socialize with their peers. The activities in the centers include group meetings for guidance and support, individual sessions, workshops and volunteer projects.

Population(s) Served
At-risk youth
Adolescents (13-19 years)

“A Real Home” is a therapeutic community for young women who were or are victims of sexual violence.  The program encourages them to function in normative frameworks and works to reduce their feelings of shame, guilt and anger.  In addition to group work, these young women receive individual counseling with the staff and volunteers of the center.

Population(s) Served
Females
At-risk youth

The Y-ELEM website allows for youth to receive reliable and valuable information, assistance, individual and group counseling online – all while remaining anonymous. In 2004, ELEM launched the Y-ELEM website, to provide information, counseling and emotional support, from trained professionals, via forum, chatroom, and email. This accessible method adapts to the changing need of tech-dependent clientele. Y-ELEM provides information on many relevant topics, and also offers a platform for original writing by participants as a means of self-empowerment. In this way, Y-ELEM actualizes ELEM’s guiding principles to “be where the youth are” and to establish meaningful relationships with a positive adult role model who can be easily accessible during the complex journey of adolescence.

Population(s) Served
At-risk youth
Non-adult children

This project serves youth who live on the streets and are severely neglected and alienated from society. The goal is to reduce the damage that living on the street causes by offering emotional support, medical aid and helping youth exercise their rights.  The program provides assistance to youth six days a week. Services include outreach, building relationships with the homeless and providing basic humanitarian aid, i.e. food, clothing, hot showers, and medical equipment. Those with motivation to change are given the option of participating in long-term rehabilitation.

Population(s) Served
At-risk youth
Homeless people

Trance parties are held primarily without the knowledge or approval of law enforcement officers. Consequently, there is a complete lack of support for youth during and after these events. ELEM fills this void by meeting with youth, identifying those in distress and helping them access appropriate help. Without this critical intervention at these parties, youth who partake in psychedelic drugs could suffer life-changing effects and their behavior could lead to long-term psychiatric hospitalization.

Population(s) Served
At-risk youth

The King’s Way - Derech Hamelech is a vocational training and mentoring program for youth who are referred to ELEM by Youth Probation Services. Youth are assigned a caring adult mentor and are placed in a vocational training program or given a job with a local business in the community. This support provides tools and mentors life skills.

Population(s) Served
At-risk youth

Youth and young adults, aged 12-26, roaming the streets at night, coping with issues of adolescence, instability within the family unit, relations with peers, as well as lack of access or disappointment with institutional therapeutic frameworks, and/or a degree of distrust with the adult world. Under these conditions, the vans staff meet the youth, alongside the dangers that the street creates, such as alcohol use, delinquency, violence and involvement in prostitution. In 2015, over 8,159 teens and young adults received assistance from the ELEM Outreach Vans.

Population(s) Served
At-risk youth

Where we work

Accreditations

Charity Navigator 2012

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Charting impact

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

We currently run 78 programs in 43 cities providing counseling, mentoring, vocational training and a safe space for Israeli youth to envision a positive future, ultimately becoming a productive member of Israeli society. We aim to eliminate teenage homelessness, reduce drug and alcohol abuse, rescue boys and girls from prostitution and human trafficking and to provide opportunities to a group of underprivileged young people that would otherwise have scarce chances for success.

ELEM offers a variety of programs and services to address the unique needs of our population. ELEM uses one of its featured programs. Alma, to totally transform the lives of individuals. Rescuing girls and women from prostitution is one battle, but the war is won in the coming days, weeks and months that follow. Often, the women we encounter lack the professional and life skills necessary to reintegrate as a healthy and productive member of society. We prepare them for employment, offer counseling services that allow for healthy relationships with their families and provide a safe environment conducive for recovery. In addition to Alma, we provide positive adult role models who encourage youth to exercise their rights and provide alternatives to the world of prostitution to enable youth to gradually exit this way of living. Awake at Night, called Halev 24/7 – The Heart 24/7 in Tel Aviv, also provides immediate assistance, such as a hot meal, a help hotline and counseling services. ELEM also established the Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Sexual Violence Among Youth in partnership with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services, the first of its kind in Israel. Treatment plans are tailored to the unique needs of each client. Individual, group and family therapy are combined in short and long-term therapy approaches. Youth gaining employment is also a large focus for ELEM. The King’s Way – Derech Hamelech is a vocational training and mentoring program for youth who are referred to ELEM by partner organizations. Youth are assigned a caring adult mentor and are placed in a vocational training program that equips them for a job with one of the 70 local businesses we partner with in the community. From Protection to Independence, "The King’s Way – Derech Hamelech", is a vocational training and mentoring program for youth who are referred to ELEM by partner organizations. Youth are assigned a caring adult mentor and are placed in a vocational training program that equips them for a job with one of the 70 local businesses we partner with in the community.

As ELEM is celebrating its 38th year of operation, we pride ourselves on being considered Israel’s leading and largest nonprofit organization dedicated to treating and transforming the lives of at-risk youth. Our 300+ professionals and 2,000+ volunteers don’t wait for referrals on the 25,000 young people we serve annually, but they seek them out in the streets, at school, via the internet, at bars and nightclubs. In addition to the youth we meet face to face, another 100,000 interact with us via ELEM online.

Each quarter our board and staff gather together to assess our progress towards goals, plan for the future, review and approve budgets in addition to debriefing on events and goals that occurred within the last quarter. Not only do our board members hold our organization accountable, but our partnered organizations and funding sources also have reporting systems that ensure our goals are being met and impact is being seen in the lives of the youth we seek to help. Local, state and national governments are also large givers to our organization and we work in lock step with them to be sure we are reaching our outlined goals. We also meet annually with our international board to discuss progress and coordinate efforts between both offices.

Since our inception in 1982, we have helped well over 2 million youth in Israel. Most recently, our work has caught the attention of the United Nations Economic and Social Council, recognizing ELEM with Special Consultative Status in the field of at-risk youth. We are currently planning to expand our reach and focus on helping boys suffering from sexual violence. It is our plan to build a center specifically for this group and it would be the first of its kind in Israel. At the beginning of 2020 we expanded the age ranges of our programs. Our research showed that young children were also victims of sexual violence and that number was increasing exponentially. We lowered our entry age for most programs from 14 to 12 to accommodate this trend.

Financials

ELEM/ Youth in Distress in Israel
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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ELEM/ Youth in Distress in Israel

Board of directors
as of 5/1/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mrs. Ann Bialkin

Ann Bialkin

Board Member, Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services; Board Member, America-Israel Cultural Foundation

Lenore Ruben

Board Member, AIPAC; Board Member, Hillel; Partner/Psychotherapist, Group for ADHD

Frances Katz

Board Member, American Friends of Hebrew University; Board Member, AIPAC; Board Member, Parker Jewish Geriatric

Bobbie Glass

Lori Gosset

Connie Rubin

Noam Laden

Alan Hedrick

Charlotte Frank

Omri Amit

Alon Harnoy

Keywords

Israel youth children teens homeless runaway drugs prostitution