Emotional Support and PTSD Service Dogs
The puppies are lovingly raised by volunteer families all over Israel – and most are raised by university students – on campus! After one year, the dogs are returned to us, and we evaluate them to decide their career path. It is important to note that we do not force a dog to do anything – they show us the work they are best suited for.
There are five possible jobs. We retain the best-of-the-best and assign them to our breeding program – with the hopes of creating many more highly qualified dogs in the future. The next highest scoring will become guide dogs for Israelis who are blind or visually impaired. After that, the next level dogs will enter PTSD Training to be service dogs for soldiers who have experienced service-related emotional trauma. The final level of working dogs is our Emotional Support program for children on the autism spectrum or others with special needs. Finally, there are some dogs who have physical issues (hip or joint problems) or who don’t have the right temperament to work, these dogs enter our Ambassador program – and are given to loving families as pets.
Mitzvah & Tzedakah Projects
Students can select us for their Bar or Bat Mitzvah project – or even for classroom tzedakah projects. This is a great way for young people to connect with a project in Israel that combines the ethical treatment of animals with helping different people in need. We can provide you with a list of project ideas or you can be creative and develop something new. We need help to raise awareness and drum up support for our projects. Of course, we hope you will visit us when you come to Israel!
We have developed an amazing set of ready-to-use classroom tools for teachers and Directors of Education. These are perfect for Disabilities Month, but many of the lessons can be applied to general studies as well. The first part of the package is “Jewish Teachings and Values” complete with 20 lessons and citations. Suggested discussion questions follow each section.
The second part of the package includes Lesson Plans, Games and Classroom Activities. These are classroom-tested materials to help with reading, vocabulary, and critical thinking. There are coloring pages for the youngest students and deep discussion materials for advanced classes. Some of the games are so popular the kids don’t want to stop. The best part is they have so much fun, they don’t even realize they are learning!
Ways to Support
The Israel Guide Dog Center is one of the greatest organizations you never heard about! Although we started operations in 1991, we are still a relatively well-kept secret. We need help to raise awareness of the needs of people with blindness, emotional trauma, and social needs, and how our dogs address these issues – and truly change people’s lives. We are a small group of very dedicated people and the impact we have is tremendous.
We are the only internationally accredited training facility in Israel, so the demand for our services far exceeds supply. While we need funds most of all, we also need volunteers to spread the word about what we do by hosting parlor meetings where you invite friends and family to your home to hear a presentation. We also need help if people are willing to go to speak to classes at Hebrew schools in your area – especially the 5th & 6th grade classes since many of those kids have not yet selected a Mitzvah Project. Finally, we need people to carry supplies to Israel in your luggage when you visit Israel. This saves us a lot of money and is a wonderful mitzvah. Anyone who brings supplies will get a VIP tour of our facilities.