26 Helping Single Moms of Youth at Risk in Northern Israel Why is this vignette about help for Single Moms living in the North in the “Youth at Risk” section of this booklet? Because unemployment assures poverty for the mother which places her children “at risk.” Two years ago Galila (see p. 41) called to ask us to fund a program in Shlomi (on the Lebanon border) that was targeting unemployed or underemployed Single Moms. Being a single Mom is difficult anywhere, but it is particularly difficult living in one of the periphery regions of Israel where transportion is limited. Learning a profession that will enable the Mom to work from home, with flexible hours, can be a life-saver that will enable her and her kids to gain economic stability and independence, and break what could be an endless cycle of poverty. The Shlomi Social Welfare Department arranged for the program to be held at a local college to include both a professional cosmetics course and a basic computer course. The program was a total success. Of the 14 participants, 1/3 started their own businesses, 1/3 got jobs, and 1/3 took advanced courses. The following year we replicated the Shlomi program in Kiryat Bialik and it took HOT one phone call to find a partner. 60% of the Kiryat Bialik participanrs now have full time employment and the other 40% use what they learned for part time jobs that s upplement their income from other fields. The idea of helping these single Moms, was an outgrowth of programs helping “teens at risk” that was endorsed and initially partially funded by my close friend Stewart Harris and we dedicated the first “Help Single Moms Program” in honor of, and in memory of, Stewart, a true giant of a man. We must continue financing programs that train young Moms to become self sufficient. It is the only way to stop an endless cycle of poverty. We are asking our donors to designate $12,707 for a new class that we hope will start in Shlomi before the end of the year.