How it all began
Reuth - originally
named Women's Social Service – was founded in 1937, on the seashore of Tel
Aviv, by a group of women, immigrants from Germany, under the leadership of
Mrs. Paula Barth. The aim of the newly established organisation was to assist
new immigrants who could not find a sufficient livelihood in their new land.
The energetic women set up a soup kitchen, offering warm meals to the needy,
opened a nursery school to enable parents to find employment, and built Beit
Shalom - a new home, at the centre of Tel Aviv, for elderly immigrants who had
left their world behind.
founders set the guiding principle that has directed Reuth ever since: Filling
in the gaps! Our mission, in every era, is to respond to the most urgent, yet
unaddressed, needs of Israeli society; to lend a helping hand to those whom no
one else will help. Thus, in every period and every situation, Reuth has met
the changing social challenges, assisting those among us who are weak and
helpless: the old, the sick, the disabled and the poor.
And so, as the
needs changed with time, Reuth's services changed and grew to address them.
After the Holocaust, when survivors flooded in from the ravaged continent of
Europe, the organisation built Beit Bracha and Beit Achva
– subsidies housing complexes offering 300 residential units for
elderly immigrants. During the economic slump of the early 1950's, the tireless
women of Reuth handed out clothes and basic food products to needy families.
And at the beginning of the 1960's they established two retirement homes for
immigrants looking for a traditional lifestyle – Beit Gila in Tel Aviv's Yad
Eliyahu neighborhood, and Beit Barth in Jerusalem.
In 1961 Reuth opened the Lichtenstaedter Hospital for the disabled and chronically ill. The facility, which offered 44 beds, was the only one of its kind in Israel at the time, and the demand for its services grew very rapidly: in 1966 two more stories were added, and the number of beds rose to 120, and later to 160. In the 1970's the organisation established the current campus of what is today Reuth Rehabilitation Hospital, offering 350 beds.
A mission that never stops
Reuth of the 21st
century is one of Israel's leading non-profits in the fields of health, welfare
& old age. It continues to operate and develop the crucial
institutions established by its founding mothers, forever adapting them to the changing
needs: Reuth Rehabilitation Hospital one of the country's most advanced
facilities for rehabilitation and long-term care; the organisation's three
retirement homes – Beit Barth, Beit Shalom and Beit Jenny Breuer – are in high
demand in the traditional sector; and the protected community housing
complex, still occupying the old buildings of Beit Bracha and Beit Achva, is
the home of 200 low-income seniors, many of whom are Holocaust survivors and
Many more projects
and pioneering initiatives have been added over the decades: the Reuth-Eshel
Information Centre, providing information and guidance on any topic related to
old age; the Caring Family website, offering easy access to comprehensive
information for the elderly and their caretakers; the Agam Institute addressing
the affliction of the modern world – eating disorders; Reuth-Open Door advising
young people with disabilities in the sensitive areas of relationships and
sexuality; and three community centres for seniors in Tel Aviv: Reich and
Mitchell in the northern part of town, and HaKerem in the Kerem HaTeimanim neighbourhood.
Reuth's activities grow continuously, with every new initiative powered and propelled by the Spirit of Reuth, which has filled our sails since the very beginning: a spirit of compassion, acceptance and dignity for every human being.