Why Be’er Sheva?
As with any non-profit organization, Beit Moriah’s work is inspired by our surroundings and the needs of the population we serve. Our city, Be’er Sheva, is known as the “Capital of the Negev.” It is the largest city in the south of Israel, and the seventh-largest city in the nation. Currently, Be’er Sheva is home to approximately 200,000 residents, many of whom are Ethiopian and Russian immigrants who arrived in large numbers during the 1990’s. When it was founded in 1993, Beit Moriah sought to establish programs to help these immigrants acclimate to Israeli culture, while also easing the strain of this sudden influx on the existing population and its educational and social resources. At the time, many religiously-run public schools were closing due to lack of enthusiasm for this type of education, as well as a dearth of many ill-equipped instructors. Many religious families opted to send their children to secular schools or to leave the city altogether.
Today, we continue to operate programs that serve the large immigrant community in Be’er Sheva, including hundreds of Ethiopian and Moroccan families, and Russian immigrants that account for roughly 16% of Be’er Sheva’s total population. In addition, we are constantly developing new social welfare services for underserved and at-risk populations in response to the changing needs of our community.