As the BaMidbar team reflects on the last year, we are proud of what BaMidbar has been able to accomplish. Our growing team, and your unwavering support, ensures that Jewish youth and young adults have the confidence, skills, and community support to navigate life’s challenges and thrive in the face of adversity. At BaMidbar, we’ve developed proven models and programs that can impact the lives of youth and young adults in our community. As we look to the future, we know there is so much more that needs to be done.
As the year comes to a close, will you help us deepen our impact? When you make a gift to BaMidbar, you help:
- Empower teens to be advocates for mental health and wellness, and support them in articulating a connection between their Jewish identity, understanding of mental health, and sense of personal resilience.
- Jewish communal professionals develop the knowledge and skills to build a resilient and thriving young Jewish community and to support those they serve who are struggling.
- Provide wilderness-based mental health treatment for young adults (18-28) struggling with depression, anxiety, and social isolation.
Your year-end gift helps us build a Jewish community that actively supports its members in cultivating mental health and wellness!
[Image Description] A team of Peer Wellness Fellows work together to balance a tennis ball on interwoven string
Youth and young adults experiencing mental health challenges are more likely to turn to peers for support, than to reach out to an adult or professional. This fall, BaMidbar launched the Peer Wellness Fellowship in partnership with the Jewish Teen Initiative of Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston. The program leverages teens to increase awareness and decrease stigma around mental health in the Jewish community, and helps teens articulate a connection between their Jewish identity, understanding of mental health, and sense of personal resilience.
We are thrilled to announce that we are expanding this program model in 2022. BaMidbar is partnering with Foundation for Jewish Camps to facilitate an intensive Mental Health & Wellness Internship for college-aged camp counselors, which builds upon the Wellness Fellowship curriculum. More information and application details will be shared in the new year.
[Image Description] Clinical Director Nick Magle-Haberek teaching during a Mental, Emotional, and Social Health for Experiential Educators (MESH-EE) course
Informal educators, including Jewish community professionals, are oftentimes the first line of defense for a student struggling with mental health. These educators are uniquely situated to create positive environments where mental health can flourish. BaMidbar helps Jewish educators develop the knowledge and skills to build a resilient and thriving young Jewish community and to support those they serve who are struggling. In 2021, BaMidbar partnered with 35 organizations to offer 116 education programs reaching 2,749 participants.
[Image Description] Two students smile at each other while eating s’mores
Through wilderness-based journeys of self-discovery, hope, and healing, wilderness therapy students explored questions of meaning, values, and purpose, built skills, practiced healthy emotional expression, climbed mountains, and built a strong, supportive, and inclusive community. Over the course of the program, students experienced a 28% reduction in depression-related symptoms, a 30% reduction in anxiety-related symptoms, and a 42% reduction in overall stress-related symptoms. We are looking forward to launching registration for our Summer 2022 program on January 3, 2022.