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Beit Esther: « An open house with an open heart »

A place and a connection


Interview of Henri Cohen Solal in the Times of Israel about the « batim hamim »

Tensions and conflicts are inherent to any society.

But in addition to the social issues and problems that plague contemporary society (young people at risks, psychological distress, poverty, substance abuse etc.) Israeli society is torn by several conflicts, both internal and external (some more violent than others). These conflicts include: Israel/Palestinian, religious/secular; mizrahi and Ashkenazi Jews; center/periphery. They contribute to feelings of exclusion.

It is in this context thatBeit Esther, established in 2002 as an Israeli NGO, implements projects for at-risk youth and vulnerable adults and families: in order to fight exclusion – in Jerusalem, primarily, and throughout Israel, as well.

Beit Esthersets up its youth clubs and drop-in centers »bait ham » – warm houses – in this spirit, and provides:

  • a safe haven and encounter space
  • a welcoming and supportive team of professionals trained in social and intercultural mediation, devoted to protecting the dignity of all individuals and to promoting autonomy, creativity and personal empowerment


By offering such an environment, we aim to support people who feel socially disconnected and alienated in regaining their self-confidence and self-esteem, and in re-establishing their rightful place in the community; we strive to facilitate their reconciliation with institutions and with society, and accompany them in building their future.


Based on the extensive field experience and research activities of its leadership and staff, Beit Esther has designated psychosocial mediation as its method in treating the consequences of the dissolution of the social fabric.


Beit Esther’s main areas of activity


Beit Esther has operates four types of programs that it has developed:

  • Magen Noar- programs for at-risk youth
  • Devarim- program for vulnerable adults
  • Machon – training programs for youth and community workers
  • The Jerusalem – Paris Doctoral Fellowship, an association of senior researchers engaged in academic research, organizes seminars, conferences and academic exchanges, and functions as a social projects incubator.


For more information, contact us at: betester@netvision.net.il