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engthening family and community

Sivan Baratz, social worker and for the past two years coordinator of the Family Empowerment program, considers the
combination of in-depth work and a holistic approach as the recipe for success.
"The Family Empowerment program," explains Sivan, "is a holistic, broad-scale program aimed at empowering families in the Regional
Council. There is an extremely wide range of needs among these families; thus we've set ourselves the goal of supplying an effective
response by going deeper rather than wider. We're continuously mapping the population of local communities and examining the forms
of assistance each community needs. With that as a starting point, we build programs of a specific nature and focus, tailored to meeting
identified needs. Thus we have programs for early childhood, elementary schoolchildren, high schoolers, parents, whole families and
older citizens."
"In looking back," Sivan notes, "among families who participate in
one of our programs-the entire family, or part thereof-we are
identifying an increased level of competency, ability to cope with
difficulties and crises, and heightened family strength,
with continued strengthening and empowerment. "
"The issue of 'resilience' is critical in our region for two reasons,"
stresses Sivan. "Firstly, amid the reality of Israel in 2015,
life continually presents crises to families, who are forced to deal
with them. Second is security. If there's a crisis in the north, then
we're in the line of fire and under existential threat; if the crisis is
in the south, we are considered the home front and need to assist
residents of the south. Thus it is so very important to strengthen
the durability of each and every family. It is a well- known fact
from studies that family resilience has a direct bearing on
community resilience. Therefore the more families that join our
programs, the stronger the whole community gets. We witnessed
this last summer, when a large number of families asked to take
part in the assistance effort and to host families from the south."
"One sees how the assistance that the Federation extends to the
Family Empowerment program directly affects the resilience of
the community in the Megido Regional Council. Without such
assistance, our programs would be much more generalized and
overly broad. We wouldn't be able to address each family as a
totality and adapt a response to specific needs. It's important to
point out that the program began with 70 families, and now we're talking about more than 220 families that take part in the different
programs. For this we are thankful from the bottom of our hearts-to the Jewish communities of Atlanta and St. Louis, who see the
importance of the Megido community and want so much to give and to help strengthen our community."



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