Activities of the Gruss Fund

Preparing for Civilian Life

Every year over 6000 young people take part in workshops to prepare them for civilian life. The workshops provide tools and skills to aid in the transition from service to the next chapter in their lives, while emphasizing the formation of an individualized "work plan" for each participant. The workshops focus on decision making processes, preparing for the world of academic studies and/or the job market, and provide important information on available services and rights granted to ex-servicemen. The workshops are intended, for the most part, for lone soldiers, residents of peripheral areas, haredi soldiers and those finishing their national or civilian services.

TEVET – Tnufa B'Ta'asuka (From Poverty to Independence)

Tevet is a joint program with JDC, the Government of Israel, and the Fund, which provides a wide range of services to ex-servicemen who are interested in joining the labor force rather than pursuing higher education. Participants take part in workshops to prepare them for the job market, and have relevant job training programs located for them. Tevet also offers professional aptitude tests and referrals to potential employers. Ex-servicemen can also take courses on job searching and career development. Employment coordinators work out of the Centers for Young Adults.

Centers for Young Adults

A partnership between the Fund, JDC, Israeli government ministries, local authorities and other organizations has brought about the establishment of Centers for Young Adults in 32 cities across the country, with an emphasis on the periphery.

The Centers offer a continuum of services in the fields of education, employment, cultural activities and social responsibility. Ex-servicemen can make use of a variety of services, such as: guidance and counseling for academic studies or employment; information on available courses; scholarships; tutoring; and job search workshops. The Centers provide mentoring as well as advice on how to access the rights accorded to this population. The Centers also provide opportunities to engage with the community.

In smaller communities that can not support a Center for Young Adults, guidance centers for ex-servicemen have been set up. These centers advise ex-servicemen on choosing an area of study; provide information on institutions of higher learner and preparatory courses for psychometric exams, as well as referrals to professional training courses and to foundations that provide scholarships. The Fund is a partner in many of the programs active in these guidance centers, including Hesigim, Ofakim and Atidim, as well as providing tools to enable participants to make informed choices as to the course of studies most suitable for each individual.

TELEM - Ta'asuka, Limudim and Migurim BaKibbutz (Employment, Studies, and Living on the Kibbutz)

This unique program for Ethiopian ex-servicemen is funded by the Ministry for Immigration Absorption, in partnership with the Kibbutz Movement and the Gruss Fund. Within the framework of the program the kibbutz provides the young people with housing and employment, and in the evenings participants undergo a course of study. The goal of the year-long program is to provide participants with an entry point into Israeli society. Participants are mentored by a kibbutz member and undergo employment aptitude testing funded by the Fund.