Youth at Risk

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The need

In recent years there are a significantly larger numbers of youth roaming the streets of cities in Israel. These youngsters often drop out or are expelled from schools which fail to meet their needs or integrate them into society. In turn, the young people lose their faith in adults whose role it is to care for them.

Even though many of these students would like to develop, the young people begin to regard themselves as failures, unable to reach their potential. They fail to receive the positive reinforcement that would normally stimulate and motivate them. Their lives are void of sense of purpose and meaning which is crucial to both their personal development and their ability to function positively within their social group.


Neshima’s Response

One solution to this growing problem is to provide these “at risk” students with alternative educational programs which are non-threatening, both socially and academically.


We have seen that these youth can be motivated to learn and develop their educational and social skills when given the proper framework; one which speaks their language in a nonjudgmental setting. By utilizing more innovative teaching approaches, allowing students to express themselves in a safe environment and channel their own energy in a creative and positive way, we have found that young people begin to connect with themselves, each other and staff members in a positive healthy manner and build self-esteem.


Neshima’s Programs

A.M.I.’s successful Neshima workshop series is presently being adapted to benefit “youth at risk” population in Israel. At each participating school a schedule is set up prior to the school year whereby Neshima presents 11 sessions during a 9 month period (September-May) for students ages 14-18. Each session is scheduled for 90 minutes. The students’ active participation is an essential part of the goal of the presentation.


Be it lyric writing, composition, drawing or a dramatic role, the student is encouraged to express himself/herself in an atmosphere which they may not be used to studying. This proven behavior therapy technique adds to the challenge that the students are face with during the workshop process.


In order to truly inspire the young people on a deeper spiritual level the Neshima program is designed according to the following principles:

  1. Speaking from soul to soul, the A.M.I. staff creates an atmosphere that allows the students to look inside themselves, connecting to a deeper level of their spirituality.
  2. The goal of every staff member is not how to get the students to like them, but how to get themselves to appreciate the students more, resulting in an atmosphere that gives the students permission to express themselves without being judged and censored.
  3. Neshima’s workshops are there to encourage student participation, self-expression and creativity.


Drawing a parallel between music, meditation and the inner self the Neshima program uses music as a unifying factor and universal language; hence a key to open the hearts of the youth and to allow them  to embark on a spiritual journey. By composing melodies in a spontaneous, unprepared way, the participants let the ideas come directly from their soul and this leaves an everlasting impression on the inner life of the participants.