Cause of the Month: Susan's House

Sharon Avis | June 2019

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Over the years, and in my professional life I had met many nonprofits in Israel.
Many organizations that are there for youth at risk. And they all do an amazing job!

When I entered Susan’s House in Givat Shaul neighborhood in Jerusalem, my heart was immediately captured, and I truly felt a special and most unique connection. The amazing team and the oh so more amazing teens captured my heart in ways, I am finding myself searching for words to describe.

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Susan’s house opened 18 years ago by Eyal Kaplanski, in loving memory of his wife Susan, who passed away at the age of 38 after a battle with cancer.  Susan’s dream was to work with teens at risk thru art and create a way for them to shape their own future for the better.

At Susan’s house teens that come from very difficult backgrounds, many of them are already on the streets, and mostly suffer from complex trauma syndrome, at Susan’s house they are empowered and rehabilitated and create their own future thru art.

They get working skills, team work abilities, time management skills and many more basic life skills to carry them on to a brighter future and a more stable life ahead. 60% of teens graduating from Susan’s House join the IDF or National Service. In Israel, that is an amazing testament for success and fitting into normative society.

The teens are creating art in glass, jewelry, and textiles. They are mentored by artists and art teachers from Israel’s finest art schools, e.g. Bezalael Art Academy, they are also accompanied by social workers and child psychologists.

When I was there, I met a sixteen year old girl. She took me for a little tour and showed me around, while we were walking she shared so openly her personal experiences that I was left speechless. 16 years of age, not attending school anymore, amazingly sweet with such smart eyes and tenderness about her and I found it so hard to even imagine the hardships her life brought her. And then she spoke of Susan’s house… how it changed her life, how she does not know where will she be without it. “I was so angry all the time before I came to Susan’s house. Had so many problems with everyone “she says to me in an embarrassed smile, “But now, I am happier, I met so many good people hear, made really good friends, I love it here” and I could see that she actually found some peace here at this place. It was an extraordinary understanding and a I was left in true awe of the amazing people that dedicate their lives to run Susan’s House.

 

IsraeliBox joined hands with this amazing cause, and we promise you’ll hear more about them. You can by the amazing creations by the teens at risk online as well: www.susanshouse.org.il  and learn more about this incredible place in Jerusalem.

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