The Welfare to Wellbeing program provides long-term unemployed women – primarily single mothers – with vocational training, therapy, empowerment workshops, and assistance to find and maintain gainful employment. The program participants possess minimal education and experience, and some have never held a formal job before. Moreover, many have suffered from traumas, such as alcohol and drug addiction, past convictions, domestic abuse, mental health issues, physical illnesses, and the loss of loved ones. In addition to attending intensive vocational training courses, the women participate in therapy designed to help them to cope with past traumas and successfully acclimate to the workplace, which enables them to keep their jobs long-term. The program helps the participating women act as role models for their children as well as others in their community. The program recently expanded its therapeutic curriculum to include mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) workshops, which feature meditation, breathing, and body awareness exercises. In addition to reducing stress and building positive body image and self-awareness, the workshops provide the women with practical tools to regulate emotions and impulsivity, thereby empowering them to make better choices both at work and home. The program also expanded to our new location in the impoverished city of Yehud.
Among the donors, the Jaffa Institute would like to thank the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles and the Jewish Unified Social Fund of France and Israel for their generous support of this essential program.