A man does not die [i.e. is not missed in death] except to his wife,
nor does a woman die except to her husband.
In his final moments, our forefather Jacob remembered his
Tragic early loss of his young wife, Rachel :
"And when I came from Padan, Rachel died on me". 'On me' – the rabbis explain: a woman does not die except to her husband. (Talmud Bavli)
Young widows and widowers can draw strength from the "company of equals" and feel empowered to face their challenges as parents,
job-holders, and members of their community and of society.
Our Mission is double pronged
To first create meeting places (real and online) for those affected by the loss of a young life partner, and to develop and operate tailored programs supporting them and their children.
Second, to inform and educate community leaders, social workers, other relevant professional, and general society, about the impact of the loss of a first young life partner.
Our Target Group
Israeli children aged 0-21 years old who have lost a parent / our life's shield.
Israeli women and men aged 20-35 years old who have lost a life partner.
While the loss of a spouse can be devastating at any age, further in life, it is likely to already experience loss in your immediate surrounding and thus have support of others around you.
The young widowed, however, are usually few in number in any one place. The exceptionality of their situation means that it is difficult for them to reach each other, no community network is available for them they are barely "seen" by the authorities.
To a large extent, the young bereaved carry the burden of daily tasks and duties single-handedly.
They have neither the time nor energy to look after their own emotional needs. They are overwhelmed by bureaucratic issues and parenting dilemmas. There is currently no focal point for them to access information, guidance and support over and above the limited governmental short term financial aid.
When there are children involved, the effects of loss are inevitably compounded. The surviving parent does not always have the physical, mental and emotional capacity to assume the role of two parents. In extreme cases, the child may feel overlooked and express his or her own pain through worrying behaviour. They too need network support and piers to rebuild their identity and strength .
THE AMITSIM SOLUTION
We will establish four Amitsim Center (Jerusalem, the Galilee, the central region and the Negev) and create an interactive digital platform to offer therapeutic, informational and recreational activities for the bereaved partner and children. Through these real and virtual centers, Amitzim will work to disseminate a wholesome Jewish approach to young widowhood that promotes the emotional wellbeing and independence of the bereaved while understanding their need for time to recover and space to share.
The Amitzim Centers will reduce the members' sense of being alone in their grief, create a community for them to share, consult, cry and laugh – with no need for explanations or apologies.
Some of Amitzim's members may find a new life partner, they may choose to remarry, others will not. We hope that their experiences at Amitzim will strengthen them to make decisions and handle situations successfully, whatever they may be.