SHIKUM LA’NEFESH: Rehab for the soul

Supporting Spiritual Growth and Healing in a Unique Jewish Moment

Empowering Newly Released Soldiers

 IDF soldiers are undergoing a profound spiritual and emotional awakening, yet they lack the necessary support to nurture their spiritual growth and emotional healing. This moment is a rare opportunity as these soldiers return to their pre-war routines, their openness begins to fade. 

The demand for support surpasses our capacity, and we urgently need your help to facilitate their sudden surge of interest in Judaism and the crucial journey toward emotional healing. Shikum La’nefesh is committed to responding energetically to this awakening, offering a unique retreat experience that guides these soldiers through a transformative journey towards a Torah-oriented life. Join us in making a difference and shaping history.

 

Our Program

Our program offers a unique setting that is not available anywhere else in Israel. Former combat soldiers come to a 4 day retreat in Tzfat (and other cities) in order to learn about Torah Judaism in a healing, non-judgmental environment. Our retreats offer one-on-one and group connections with madrichim and rabbis, meaningful peer interactions, as well as time touring the Land in a peaceful way.

The one-of-a-kind retreat center carries on the life mission of their fallen soldier son, Binyamin Meir Airley ז”ל, to vibrantly live Torah and love the Land of Israel. Shikum La’Nefesh is a three-phase process that moves from introduction and healing to integrating the men into their local shomer shabbat communities with classes and shabbatonim. This ultimately leads to a more Torah oriented life with the possibility of future yeshiva study.

This is a rare opportunity to be at the beginning stage of a turning point in AM Yisrael.

We hope you won’t miss it. join us as part of our team that’s changing history.

The Challenge

War Creates Change

The October 7th Simchat Torah War has started a process of individual and national soul searching. The war has propelled many Israelis to question their foundational beliefs, especially about God and Judaism. The fourth son of the Pesach seder, the child who did not know how to ask, has suddenly erupted with questions.

There is no Current Solution

In war, the world is upended. When soldiers come out on the other side of battle, they’re sometimes broken in body, mind and spirit. Now is the time to offer recovery.

Surgeons and physical therapy mend bodies. Trauma therapy mends minds. But what is available specifically to soldiers who are newly searching and open to soul therapy?

The Window of Opportunity is Now

As of now, there is nothing.

Many of these young men have never experienced, or may be turned off, to the typical yeshiva. A standard yeshiva cannot handle their battle experiences. Israeli kiruv yeshivot may push too fast and too far. Mental health therapeutic programs are not skilled in Jewish philosophy.

This is why we’ve created Shikum La’Nefesh: Rehabilitation of the Soul.

Healing the Whole Person

(גוף) Body

Healthy and plentiful meals, hikes and sites in Tzfat and the Upper Galilee, guided tours with an emphasis on learning about Eretz Yisrael.

(נפש) Nefesh

Art therapy, playback theater, creative workshops

(רוח) Ruach

Musical and joyful evenings with a kumzitz, local Tzfat spiritual experiences, Oneg Shabbat.

(נשמה) Neshama

Informal and participative Torah classes and workshops, Tefilah Workshops. One on one DMCs (Deep Meaningful Conversations) with  Madrichim and Rabbanim

There are no other programs that provide healing of the soul and the emotions like this for soldiers coming out of the army.

The Family

Rob, Binyamin z’L, Jen Airly

The Airley family

The Place

The Shikum Lanefesh Rehab Center for the soul

From PTSD to PTG

PTS(D)

Post Traumatic Stress

PTG

Post Traumatic Growth

“Bright Lights” are the spokespeople who have “permission” to call for the transformation because they are experiencing it from the inside.

Tier 1

People who feel trauma (Those directly connected to trauma)

Whether it’s in Des Moines or Dimona.

This group is serviced in an offsite facility or content, group workshops, and 1:1 sessions.

Tier 2

Directly in the trauma (Those who feel the trauma)

Soldiers, wounded, displaced, traumatized families and people directly connected.

This group is serviced through content, classes and partnerships.

Three Phase Solution

Phase 1: Soulful Retreats.

Soulful Retreats In Tzfat. 

There is already a home that is ready to go for these soldiers to have a 4 day Retreat for the Soul. 

Each program starts on a Wednesday and finishes on Motzei Shabbos, for 20 men at a time. This format creates the ideal environment for a life transformation. 

Step 1
Immersion

Phase 2: Integration

Once the soldiers finish the retreat, they are connected to local, loving communities, Rabbis, therapists and a support system. 

  • Buddy connection systems 
  • Learning in classes
  • Chavruta learning
  • Shabbat invitations
  • Informal workshops

Step 2
Integration

Phase 3: Deeper Integration Experience

  • Shabbatonim
  • Deeper exploration and expression
  • Yeshiva Experience

Step 3
Going Deeper

Proof of Concept

We are already 40% of the way there! We have acquired a property in Tzfat for the Retreat Center.

Located in the picturesque Artists’ Colony and can currently hold approximately 20 participants onsite.

The Shikum La’nefesh Project is spearheaded by Robert and Jennifer Airley, parents of fallen IDF soldier, Binyamin Meir Airley.

Almost directly after the shiva, Rob and Jen have been on a mission to encourage and inspire Am Yisrael. Motivated by Binyamin’s life goals and purpose, his parents are carrying on his vision.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been attracted to their message and find it encouraging and life-affirming. Their message has touched the hearts of soldiers and Jews around the world to live life authentically, connect deeply to Torah, with emunah, resilience and joy. They teach that even with pain and challenge, we can thrive. Videos of the Airley’s speeches and interviews have gone viral, attracting hundreds of thousands of views overall.

The message is spreading like wildfire.

Due to an overwhelming demand, Rob and Jen Airley are giving up to 10 presentations a week and more. They speak to mission groups coming to Israel from the US, mothers and wives of soldiers, tour groups and regularly receive keynote speaking invitations.

They give media interviews on television, radio, podcasts and more. Examples in Israel and around the world include Channel I24, Talk TV, Arutz Sheva, Channel 14, Kol B’Rama Radio, the Meaningful People Podcast, Great Britain TV.

They travel for multi-city US speaking tours: presenting speeches and workshops in schools, shuls, seminaries, and yeshivot.

 

 

Proven Successful Approach

The Rabbonim who endorse this program, and the Airleys themselves, understand this historic turning point.

We can turn Am Yisrael in a crucial and nation-shaping direction if done immediately and correctly.

  • The goal is to present Judaism with acceptance, encouragement, warmth, love, and healing.
  • Our leadership is made up of peer and support teams who can relate to the soldiers with empathy, and commonality.
  • This phased approach, including one-on-one interactions and sensitive follow-up, is the key.

A spiritual opportunity 57 years ago went unleveraged, But we’ve learned our lesson.

The Ba’al Tshuva movement began on the heels of the Six Day War in 1967. Unfortunately, the religious world was not prepared to meet the desire for learning by establishing suitable learning programs quickly enough. The moment passed and the potential movement of national tshuva faded.

This time is different. We are aware; we see it happening before our eyes. Soldiers are looking for spirituality and there is nowhere for them to start. We are anticipating the burst of Torah interest that is already arising from the Simchat Torah War.

If not now, when?

Endorsements and Key Relationships

Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu

The Chief Rabbi of Tzfat

Rabbi Eyal Yakobovitcht,

The Rosh Hayeshiva in Tzfat, will facilitate the program's launch

Many willing and enthusiastic Rabbinical and Lay Leader supporters exist in several cities in Israel (Beit Shemesh, Eilat, Jerusalem), multiple American Rabbonim in NY, Florida, Texas, and more have also joined us.

This is a rare opportunity to be at the beginning stage of a turning point in AM Yisrael.

We hope you won’t miss it. join us as part of our team that’s changing history.

Dedication Opportunities

Total Needed $2,250,000

Phase 1 (taken)

  • Down payment
  • Mortgage
  • First Level of construction, fixtures

$1,000,000

Campus Naming

Current Campus

$450,000

Baba Sali's Room

This was Baba Sali’s room when he used to sleep in Tzfat

$250,000

Rehab Builder

Includes: Pillar, Northern Room and Southern Room

$50,000

Marbitz Torah

Includes: Kitchen, Library, Ner Tamid, Beit Midrash, Outdoors, Music Program, Emotion Rehab Program, Art Program

$36,000

Eternal Builder

Includes: Outdoor Sign and Mezuzah

$5,000

Chai Partner

$1,800

Choose your amount

Get involved today. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.

We need your support.

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