• Ten youth-at-risk have recently passed computer exams towards completing a Ministry of Education certified high school diploma. Machshava Tova’s Mobile Computer Unit (MCU) came to Retorno- the International Jewish Center for Prevention and Treatment of Addictions- to teach the youth.

    Much thanks to the UJA-Federation of New York’s Women’s Philanthropy Group, the Neshamot Fund, whose generous donation has allowed the MCU to open new courses throughout Israel.

    The youth spent many hours preparing for the ICDL exam in computers. By completing all seven levels required by the ICDL and a number of other basic courses, the students will receive a Ministry of Education recognized certificate equivalent to having finished 12 years of schooling. During the first part of the course, the students learned how to manage files, Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Over 90% of the students received higher than 90% on the exam. The MCU staff is now preparing to teach the second half of the course.

    “This was one of the most challenging courses I have taught for Machshava Tova, because of the special make-up of the class and their battling of personal problems,” said Oren Heller, the course teacher. “The professionalism and dedication of the Retorno staff helped make this course successful. What they have learned will help them in other courses and allow some of them to eventually receive their high school diploma. For these reasons I am satisfied with how the course went and am extremely proud of my students.”

    Located in the beautiful countryside near Beit Shemesh, Retorno – the International Jewish Center for Prevention and Treatment of Addictions –provides a unique solution for Jewish addicts. Retorno has treated hundreds of Jews of every background and community from around the world. Eighty percent of its patients have successfully reintegrated into regular society and rebuilt their lives. Retorno not only treats the addiction but also helps the patient identify the root causes of their problem and deal with them. Retorno uses a unique, community-based system of mutual support, helping our patients regain their self control and sense of responsibility. These qualities prepare them for a productive future and a new life.

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