In the past few weeks, the girls at the
Home welcomed seven new ‘sisters’. Bracha Runes, the Home’s Programs Director, tells us that
the new housemates range between eight and 15 years old. A few of them arrived
through social services and the others via the family court system.
Each girl’s story is different – but there is always a commonality in
their situations: severe family dysfunction, deceased parent(s), parental
illness including long term hospitalization or institutionalization, or even
parental incarceration. For whichever reason a girl arrives at the Home, we have one goal in mind ~ to protect them,
to nurture them, and to help heal their deep emotional scars.
of the seven new arrivals need immediate psychological help. Their cases are
too painful to describe with mere words. But, since we’re speaking to close
friends who really care, we must tell you that two girls have suffered abuse
from their fathers while a stepbrother abused the third child. One of them, a
10 year-old, was brought to the Home straight from school, without notification
to her parents. When her trauma was discovered, there was no hesitation – the
Rubin-Zeffren Home was her address for safety haven and a new future.
the new girls walked over our threshold, they were each greeted by our warm
administration, the counselors on duty, their housemother, and then were each
privately seen by a social worker/therapist – for a one-on-one session. Dazed,
confused and hungry, the girls were fed a hot and nutritious meal, then shown
to their new rooms and introduced to their new ‘family members’. Our older
girls are very adept in gently greeting new arrivals and offering them gentle
guidance and understanding – with an amazing knack for hospitality.
their first night’s stay, the seven new girls were assessed by the Home’s
educational director and enrolled in appropriate schools for their grade
levels. They also received new school uniforms, outerwear, bedclothes and toiletries.
And, once again, in the afternoon, they each attended a private therapy session
at the Home’s new office wing, on the premises. Each room is bright and cheery,
decorated with live plants and soothing framed prints. Lev LaLev learned that
the new arrivals already seemed calmer, just knowing that their new Home is a
better place to be – and that so many people care about them.