News & Events
What an Inspiring Evening at the 2019 Beit Ruth Gala!
What a night! We — the Beit Ruth founders, our Board, the staff, and our girls — cannot thank you enough for joining us at the 2019 Beit Ruth Gala and for being on this journey with us. We need you, our girls need you, Israel needs you to stop the cycle of abuse. We will do it — together. Take another look at this special, inspirational evening and see what you are helping to make happen for the girls of Beit Ruth. Thank you!
Wedding Dress Project with Israeli Dress Designer
Among the therapeutic enrichment programs at Beit Ruth is Art Therapy, a cornerstone of our Integrated Academic and Therapeutic approach. Art therapy uncovers hidden talents while building confidence, trust, and self-esteem.
This year, we partnered with famed Israeli dress designer Galia Lahav for “The Wedding Dress Project.” This project signifies transformation and represents a declaration of our girls living their truths and committing to change.
Fixed in our minds to have one particular meaning, it takes courage to cut, color, and change the fundamental nature of a wedding dress. However, much more courage and strength is required to change the course of a person’s life – especially one that began with tragedy and distress.
Inspired by their personal life stories, our girls were given the chance to reimagine and redesign each dress, using vibrant colors, textiles, feathers, and decorative stones. Through this artistic endeavor, girls expressed feelings about material possessions, their physical and
Summertime at Beit Ruth Means Trips & Fun
Summertime at Beit Ruth means educational field trips that enable Beit Ruth girls to experience the beauty, diversity, and history of their home country. Summer 2019 gave our girls a diverse mix of nature, city, education, and fun!
Beit Ruth staff, Summer Fellows from Tufts University, and girls took on Jerusalem with visits to the Friends of Zion Museum, the Kenesset (Israeli Parliament), and the Western Wall (Kotel) with an unexpected stop at the beautiful Sacher Park. This was a very special trip for some of the girls because not only was it an experiential learning opportunity, but their first time in Jerusalem.
The girls also had a fun 24-hour getaway to camp at a nearby Kibbutz. This was to prepare for an early morning “Jeep Trip” through the Northern Mountains. Our girls set up tents, took a dip in the pool, and helped prepare a delicious feast of grilled meats, vegetables, falafel, hummus and more! The night culminated in a game of “Survivor” coordinated by the Shinshinyot (young Israeli girls who perform a year of national service), that consisted of a series of games from scavenger hunts to three-legged races to win beverages and edible prizes. The following morning, 12 Jeeps roared through the mountains against the backdrop of Israel’s natural beauty.
Summer’s final excursion was a kayaking trip to celebrate the end of Summer School. It was wonderful to see the girls working together as their oars synchronized to gently push their boats down the stream. Some kayaks decided to race each other while others chose to leisurely float forwards while occasionally splashing each other with water. As everyone settled down for lunch, the girls (and staff) were tired, but happy. The combination of cool water and warm company was the perfect way to conclude their hard work throughout the year.
And with that, Summer 2019 is a wrap!
Beit Ruth Launches Summer Fellows Program with Tufts University
Beit Ruth is proud to announce that we are now part of the Tufts University International Fellowship Program! The Tufts/Beit Ruth Summer Fellows, Elena and Aviva, arrived at the Village in June for a 9-week Summer Fellows program, primarily focusing on teaching English-as-a-Second-Language to our girls and staff.
“The highlight of my time here has been getting to know the girls at Beit Ruth,” Elena says. “Their resilience and strength continues to amaze me every day!”
The Fellows have been spending time getting to know all of the girls and staff while learning the routine, schedule, and philosophy of Beit Ruth. They are busy prepping English lessons for summer school with Orit, Beit Ruth’s educator, while also providing one-on-one tutoring for girls who are studying for Israel’s matriculation exams. Art, music, and communal meals are also being used to incorporate English into everyday activities. Improvement is already being seen!
Beit Ruth Founders Visit the Village
It is always a special day at the Beit Ruth Village when founders Susan and Michael Ashner spend the day visiting with our girls and with the staff while taking in the amazing growth of what they started 13 years ago.
Inspiration runs on both sides of these special relationships. The girls always look forward to seeing Susan and Michael and growing the special bond that they share. They share hugs, stories, and hope. Susan and Michael are also inspired by what our girls have accomplished since their last visit -- improved English, greater openness, and the ability to dream.
A Special Passover in the Beit Ruth Village
Thanks to our angel hosts, the Iranian American Jewish Federation, and donors, more than 200 people gathered at the Beit Ruth Village for an amazing Passover celebration! Food; music with DJ Gal, saxophonist Yarden, and a surprise appearance by celebrity singer, Dudu Aharon, brought everyone to their feet; and a moving ribbon cutting to name one of our houses and a groundbreaking to get started on another were hallmarks of the day!
This is an amazing new stage of growth for Beit Ruth that will allow us to go from caring for 45 to 60 girls at a time. That means more girls at-risk who are being educated, learning life skills, overcoming their trauma, and living lives they once only dreamed of!
A very special thank you to everyone who pave the way for social change. And thank you to all of our supporters and friends. Together we can - and together we are.
Mimouna Ceremony Marks the End of Passover
Passover came to an end in the Village with the traditional Mimouna dinner (really, an array of unbelievable homemade desserts made with honey, nuts, and dried fruits!). This ancient Moroccan tradition marks the return to eating chametz (leavened bread). A spread of unbelievable sweet treats included made-to-order moufletta (pancakes), lovingly and expertly prepared on-the-spot.
Our girls did an incredible job creating the atmosphere, decorating a welcoming room from floor to ceiling They dressed in traditional Moroccan garb and were joined by volunteers; staff and their families; alumni; the mother and son musical duo of Ada and Elsiv Aleav, who sang and performed traditional Bukharian music; shinshinyot (live-in volunteers); and so many friends of Beit Ruth!
The Andermans Visit Beit Ruth
It was such a pleasure to host Carol & Arthur Anderman, along with their daughter, Debbie, and her husband, Hal at the Village. The family was at the Village to officially name the Gladys & Irving Coopersmith Atrium. We are especially grateful for the time taken to sit and listen to our girls share stories and the life changes they have experienced thanks to the care and innovative programs and services at Beit Ruth.
The Andermans have visited the Village previously, touring the campus, visiting with our girls and our dedicated staff, and witnessing the amazing transformation that happens here. Their presence is a beautiful reminder of our friends from across the ocean who show the girls at Beit Ruth that they are cared for and that we are not alone in our mission to stop the cycle of violence and empower our girls to become contributing members of Israel and the world. We look forward to welcoming them back!
Demonstrating to Stop Violence Against Women
Beit Ruth's Program Manager and one of its founding staff members, Ronit Lev-Ari, was a co-founder and organizer of a nationwide demonstration to highlight the issue of violence against women in Israel. The demonstration, held October 18th, saw tens of thousands of people across Israel take a minute of silence – stopping wherever they were – to have their silence heard. Beit Ruth staff and girls participated, and also learned about some of the women killed thus far this year, victims of domestic violence in Israel.
For our girls, it was especially important to have them participate and understand that the world is listening. In an effort to further protect our girls from violence or abuse in the future, we discussed the warning signs of an abusive partner and the existing channels when seeking help. Ultimately at Beit Ruth, we aspire for our girls to recognize their own self-worth, strength and their capacity to transform their lives.
New Village Garden Blooms at Beit Ruth
A new Village garden was in full bloom thanks to long-time Beit Ruth supporter Alice Fixx. Alice spent months in her New York apartment designing this special garden to honor her sister and brother-in-law, and avid gardeners, Barbara Kasman and Art Wernicke.
Barbara and Art – also long-time and devoted Beit Ruth supporters – were overcome with emotion as the ribbon was officially cut on “The Barbara Kasman and Art Wernicke Garden.” Friends, including Yasskov Zada Daniel, star of the hit series, “Fauda,” gathered round and joyful tears were shed as the plaque was unveiled: “In Honor of the Many Beautiful Blossoms Who Thrive Here.”
New School Opens!
Beit Ruth kicked off 2018 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony that opened our new on-site school building, the hallways of which buzz daily with the sounds of our girls’ racing toward greater academic achievement! The ribbon cutting in January was jus the first step to moving into our beautiful new on-site school building. After just one semester we are right at one, fulfilling our mission to empower Israel’s at-risk girls with the knowledge, skills, confidence, and opportunities that great education brings.
Thanks to the hundreds of family and friends, Israel and US board members, government officials, partners, and esteemed community members who were on hand to help us celebrate this milestone in Beit Ruth’s history.
The emotional ceremony included speeches from local officials and a musical performance by our girls. Beit Ruth Founder and Board Chair Susan Ashner led the ribbon-cutting and the school was declared formally open and ready for teaching and learning! The dedication of the new school had everyone buzzing with excitement for the endless educational opportunities that this building represents for Beit Ruth girls. Now that buzz is heard daily in the school hallways as our girls continue their journey toward educational achievement and a brighter, better future!
MK Orly Levy Supports Beit Ruth
As well as spending precious time with our wonderful girls and incredible staff in the Village, Susan and Danielle’s visit was packed full of important meetings that will help Beit Ruth continue to grow and exponentially increase our reach and impact –and save so many more at-risk girls in Israel.
We were so honored to meet with Member of Knesset Orly Levy, a champion of women's rights and powerhouse in Israeli politics. Her extensive knowledge, deep passion and unwavering dedication to helping at-risk girls and Beit Ruth's cause was truly inspiring and we look forward to continuing to partner on key issues around girls at risk.