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“Thanks to Nirim we are a very large group of people who stopped wasting our time doing nothing. Looking back, I do not understand at all why I behaved the way I did”
L, Nirim Or Akiva Graduate

Nirim in the Neighborhoods is a community outreach program active in socio-economically deprived, crime-saturated neighborhoods across Israel. Program participants are youth aged 14 to 18, outreached in the neighborhoods by Nirim in the Neighborhoods staff or referred to us by welfare and educational frames.

Shlomi Avni, Nirim in the Neighborhoods CEO is a reserve navy seal officer who was born and raised in a deprived neighborhood. He successfully overcame his social disadvantages and soon received an outstanding service award in the IDF elite Navy Seals. Shlomi holds a BA degree in economics and an M.A. degree in Public Administration. Shlomi is a father of 5 and still lives in his hometown, Or Akiva.  

The program takes place in the toughest neighborhoods in Israel. These socioeconomically deprived, crime saturated neighborhoods are characterized by drug and alcohol abuse and a low rate of army enlistment. The program emphasizes populations of distinct characterizations (i.e. religious and new immigrants from the CIS and Ethiopia), ensures continued support and mentoring and prioritizes teens of younger ages, so as to prevent their deterioration.

The Nirim in the Neighborhoods program uses the unorthodox methods used by the Nirim village, among which is the Wilderness Therapy, which serves as the main change initiator. We focus on returning these teenagers to their educational frameworks, integrating them into society, and strengthening their close environment, their families and their ties to the community. The guides scout the neighborhoods, at the kids' usual gathering places and slowly and patiently succeed in gathering the wondering teens; gaining their trust and helping them join the program. The staff serves as a Case Managers for the youths, and is in constant contact with all frameworks involved in their lives.
We aspire to influence as many areas of life as possible for these teens, and so create a positive and significant change in their extended circles – their family, friends, neighborhood, and community.
All Nirim in the Neighborhoods locations runs daily all year round (including the summer holiday), every day (except Shabbat) for our youth and once a week our home has an open door to the community and any youth can come and participate in the activities.
 We position ourselves case managers supporting our youth at school, working with their family, the welfare system as well as dealing with police, the juvenile courts, parole officers, and abusive figures in their lives etc. Our devoted, highly professional staff seeks out and finds troubled youth, gain their trust and lead them to become full participants in our ongoing Nirim in the Neighborhoods activities and challenging periodic events.

Main Targets.

  • Develop self-esteem, a sense of competence and motivation
  • Return to educational system and to consistent learning
  • Eliminate criminal activities and reduce substance abuse
  • Acquire humanist, Jewish and Zionist values
  • Complete full and meaningful IDF or national service
  • Continuing education in college or university.

To see Nirim in the Neighborhoods activity map press here

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