Tel Aviv Citizens Rights Center
In recognition of the extreme needs of the population of Tel Aviv, YEDID opened a Citizen Rights Center in the city in 1999. It quickly became YEDID's busiest branch. The Center is located in south Tel Aviv, adjacent to some of the city's poorest neighborhoods. Clients come from a diversity of backgrounds—while about a half are Hebrew speakers, about one-third are immigrants from the FSU and many more are from other countries in addition to Arab-Israelis from Jaffa.
Iris Bayer directs this Center with the aid of a dedicated team of 80 volunteers comprised of students, professionals and former clients. YEDID’s Tel Aviv center places a great emphasis on collaboration with local organizations and regularly partners with other community agencies and government agencies to provide assistance to the low-income residents of the Tel Aviv-Jaffa area.
In the first six months of 2011, the Tel Aviv Center assisted 1,858 clients—an average of over 300 per month. The majority approach YEDID for assistance in debt management or accessing their housing rights. Center volunteers have participated in four intensive training sessions since the beginning of the year on the subjects of citizen rights, housing and public housing, employment law, and senior citizen entitlements.
Some of the Center's programs share information with various service sectors in the Tel Aviv community to help them understand the plight of their own clients. The Center recently launched a lecture series about housing issues and National Insurance Institute benefits for 30 HMO physicians (funded by Clalit HMO), ran a Budget Management course for a group of 50 local teachers, as well as conducting a women's health workshop (funded by the LA-Tel Aviv Partnership). The Centers native English-speaking volunteers recently implemented an English Enrichment and Tutorial program for Arab students in Jaffa.
The Tel Aviv Citizen Rights Center is generously supported by
The Star Lizard Foundation,
The Carl Marks Foundation,
and Netta Buxenbaum