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Gap year in Israel for teen who's been in rtc
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amother




OP


Post  Thu, Oct 17 2019, 10:42 am
Hi, wondering if anyone has suggestions. My daughter has been in a residential getting emotionally healthy. It's not a Jewish place and she keeps what she can, but is not what you call frum. It's really hard in her environment. When she finishes her program, we'd like to offer her a gap year in Israel and we're looking for an appropriate seminary-post high school. For a girl who grew up frum but trauma and emotional issues did not allow her to be consistently frum. Once she's stable, we'd like to enable her to be in a place where she can learn about yiddishkeit from a more meaningful place. We don't care about affiliation.
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amother




Apricot


Post  Thu, Oct 17 2019, 10:46 am
Most if not all of the YU affiliated seminaries have a mental health professional on staff. It's definitely worth visiting and checking out the schools in person to see what would be a good fit.

ETA, don't be shy about asking schools if they have dealt with a similar situation in the past. You want to know if they are set up for your daughter's needs. Definitely ask how they would deal with particular situations. Stay away from a school that tells you none of their girls ever had a mental health challenge.
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amother




OP


Post  Thu, Oct 17 2019, 10:51 am
Do you have any names to start with? Which places are yu affiliated? I do want to get opinions first. She is not tznius and needs to be in a comfortable place with an atmosphere of growing spiritually but non judgemental.
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amother




Burlywood


Post  Thu, Oct 17 2019, 11:12 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Do you have any names to start with? Which places are yu affiliated? I do want to get opinions first. She is not tznius and needs to be in a comfortable place with an atmosphere of growing spiritually but non judgemental.


You can start here

https://www.yu.edu/israel-program/gis/womens

I'd concentrate on programs with dorms, not apartments. I'd also ask about Shabbat. A lot of schools want the girls to find their own places each week, and finding a place / worrying about being at the place might be very stressful for your DD. I know it produced a lot of stress for my DD.
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amother




OP


Post  Thu, Oct 17 2019, 11:37 am
I think these places sound too intense when she needs to go back to basics, plus she doesn't speak Hebrew. She also doesn't keep Shabbos now, though she wants to eventually. She definitely needs female only. Perhaps a baal teshuva place might be better?
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heidi




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Oct 17 2019, 11:38 am
Please think very carefully about sending a girl with a complicated emotional history to Israel.
I host students from across the spectrum of the after high school programs. From very sheltered to very modern seminaries.
Very few of these programs have in house counseling. Most will send to a therapist. No real supervision of how professionally qualified these therapists are.
The girls have lots of freedom and very little supervision. It's mostly the honor system which works fairly well with emotionally healthy girls. For others it's a perfect opportunity to stay out late in undesirable places with sketchy people and drink. Or drug. Or. . .
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chestnut




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Oct 17 2019, 11:38 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
I think these places sound too intense when she needs to go back to basics, plus she doesn't speak Hebrew. She also doesn't keep Shabbos now, though she wants to eventually. She definitely needs female only. Perhaps a baal teshuva place might be better?

I think so... Maybe ask Neve?
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chestnut




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Oct 17 2019, 11:40 am
But I agree with Heidi - it might be risky
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amother




OP


Post  Thu, Oct 17 2019, 12:59 pm
She will have been in treatment for a year and a half before she goes. Typically, they go to college. I think college is more risky. And college is a definite reality, but she can really use some time to learn about her own religion and to develop her Judaism before college. After she's done treatment, she may still need therapy but she will be in a much healthier place with more self awareness than the average teen.
Coming home is not a great option, her community has the same negative patterns as always. Sending away to college is just as risky, and most girls go from the residential to college and do well despite the lose atmosphere.
I don't think there's anything to lose by sending her to Israel first before college and possibly a lot to gain if it's in the right, positive, spiritually inspiring setting. Hope I'm being clear.
At a certain point, kids are responsible for their own mistakes. We give tools and so I'd like to give her the possibility of attending a place where she can grow.
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amother




Cerise


Post  Thu, Oct 17 2019, 2:08 pm
Try Jewessence (Jewessence.com)

It's a small program for girls who grew up in frum homes who are no longer frum. Many of the girls have struggled with various traumas and emotional issues. They have therapists and social workers on stafff.

They work on helping the girls heal and grow emotionally as well as spiritually/Jewishly.

It's an amazing program.
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Boobasheli




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Oct 17 2019, 2:09 pm
I second Neve or another place like that. Maybe contact someone on Aish.com to get some ideas. Any MO seminary will expect her to have a strong background in Judaic education so those are probably not an option.
Editing to add that the above post seems like a terrific idea.
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Elfrida




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Oct 17 2019, 2:16 pm
I was also thinking a baal teshuva seminary might give her more of a supportive environment and allow her to grow at her own pace. They are also very familiar with mental health issues among their students.

The problem might be her age. Most women at these places are post college. They are often rather cautious about taking and eighteen year old, since they are less mature and don't always fit in socially. If she does go to this type of seminary, you should be aware that the women are treated like adults. (Because they are adults!) There will not be a curfew, there is minimal, if any, supervision of free time, and students are expected to be responsible for themselves.

There are three baal teshuva seminaries on Jerusalem that I know of: Neve, She'arim, and Midreshet Rachel. There may be others. You could start by looking at their websites, and after Yom Tov you could email them to describe the situation and ask if they think they could help. Even if they are not the right address for your daughter, they may be able to suggest somewhere that would work.

Incidentally, if she does go to one of these places, it doesn't need to be for a year. They are used to being flexible about dates, and are much more used to people who have a limited period to devote to learning. A shorter period might be better for both of you.
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amother




OP


Post  Thu, Oct 17 2019, 3:15 pm
Thank you so much! I will definitely look into all these places. Curious about the success rate of jewessence.
And is there a boys program as well for a friend who's son is in a similar place to my daughter?
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simcha2




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Oct 17 2019, 4:30 pm
Does it have to be a seminary type program? There are great programs that incorporate leadership, chesed, touring etc. Various hashkafas and streams of Judaism
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amother




OP


Post  Thu, Oct 17 2019, 4:43 pm
It definitely does not need to be a seminary type program. We're open to anything that can give her a positive feeling for Judaism, however that happens while at the same time knowledgeable and understanding about mental health. Do you have any names of places you recommend?
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amother




Vermilion


Post  Thu, Oct 17 2019, 6:24 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
She will have been in treatment for a year and a half before she goes. Typically, they go to college. I think college is more risky. And college is a definite reality, but she can really use some time to learn about her own religion and to develop her Judaism before college. After she's done treatment, she may still need therapy but she will be in a much healthier place with more self awareness than the average teen.
Coming home is not a great option, her community has the same negative patterns as always. Sending away to college is just as risky, and most girls go from the residential to college and do well despite the lose atmosphere.
I don't think there's anything to lose by sending her to Israel first before college and possibly a lot to gain if it's in the right, positive, spiritually inspiring setting. Hope I'm being clear.
At a certain point, kids are responsible for their own mistakes. We give tools and so I'd like to give her the possibility of attending a place where she can grow.



If you are interested I can make a email address if you want to communicate directly.
Have had personal experience with family member post RTC/ Therapeutic high school intending on attending a gap year program.
There was full intention and plan to attend (this year) - unfortunately they relapsed slightly before the program was due to begin, and is home now {which I won't deny is challenging as well as it is similar to you in that
amother [ OP ] wrote:
home is not a great option, her community has the same negative patterns as always.
}

The straw that broke the camels back was rather then viewing it that (which was a hugeeeee component)

amother [ OP ] wrote:

At a certain point, kids are responsible for their own mistakes. We give tools and so I'd like to give her the possibility of attending a place where she can grow.




that post-rtc they weren't "cured" and that the risk of sending the child 6000 miles away from supports at that point of their trajectory was one of the riskiest things that the parents could do.


Back to your original question:

Aim for ncsy/ baal teshuva/traditional friendly places :
Machon Maayan
Baer Miriam /Maayanot
Meorot Yerushalayim
(my family member also did a 'pilot trip' looking for a therapist/ therapy center)

Neve and Jewessence might be a consideration slightly older then post high school - I wouldn't start considering them until 20ish.


Is you daughter involved in ncsy/bnei akiva/ any jewish youth group? That is something that was very helpful to family member - there was a chapter near the RTC and that was a good support of frumkiet.
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amother




OP


Post  Thu, Oct 17 2019, 6:34 pm
Thank you,
She actually has Chabad near her and is very involved with them.
It still doesn't solve the problem of what to do after she graduates the high school program, she'll be 18 and most of the girls go straight to college.
Still think it would be great for her to take off a year before college to reacquaint with Judaism. She will be 18.
There is always a chance of regression. Definitely need a place with trained staff. Jewessence does sound good. Why would you not send until 20?
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studying_torah




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Oct 17 2019, 6:44 pm
Does she want to go to such a place?
Will she be able to get ongoing therapy in Israel? I think it will be difficult going from inpatient to far away from home with zero support.
What about a day treatment first?
Or some time in a less judgmental community but not israel- like a stepping stone? Would Rachel's place be an option?
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amother




Vermilion


Post  Thu, Oct 17 2019, 7:00 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Thank you,
She actually has Chabad near her and is very involved with them.
It still doesn't solve the problem of what to do after she graduates the high school program, she'll be 18 and most of the girls go straight to college.
Still think it would be great for her to take off a year before college to reacquaint with Judaism. She will be 18.
There is always a chance of regression. Definitely need a place with trained staff. Jewessence does sound good. Why would you not send until 20?


Obviously this is a conversation that really requires unpacking from Jewessence and her social worker (or whoever in the RTC who helps discharge/ next step planning) and HER, and would likely be an ongoing discussion if its an appropriate program (with my family member - the social worker in the yuphitzville RTC was very supportive in helping planning)

We clearly don't have all the info - but please bare in mind that there are SO SO SO many adjustment issues that come up among "typical" people who go to israel for a gap year. just because its the norm to go to post high school, if its too soon it could alienate her further (jewessence is 18-24, why jump right away to go right away? percolating these things are good).

also I don't know geographically where you are located/ she is located, but there are community college/ colleges that you work work with to take a few credits, have her involved with the hillel - frum programs etc
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amother




OP


Post  Thu, Oct 17 2019, 7:04 pm
The place where she is now typically has them transition to day treatment close to the end of the program, plus they work in the neighborhood, and the program still works with them for a while. It's not an inpatient facility, it's an RTC; they're different.
I will look into Rachel's place also, but she may be too functional. She will not need full time therapy after RTC. She's not leaving until she can be ok with basic living.
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