History

Achiya, Learn that you can was established to combat the high rate of dropouts in the Haredi community.

 

In 1993, with the approval of the highest religious authorities, noted educator Rabbi Avraham Gombo, together with Mr. Yitzchak Levin, set out to create an organization to empower the Orthodox and Ultra-orthodox communities to deal more effectively and positively with childhood learning differences and developmental delays.

 

Achiya began as a small Learning Center to provide specialized remedial tutoring in Gemara for preteen boys who were floundering in the regular school system. When it became apparent that many of the boys were dyslexic, or had other learning difficulties, Achiya opened a specialized remedial reading program.

 

Soon Rabbi Gombo and Mr. Levin came to the realization that that there were almost no male educators in the Haredi community qualified to work with these children. As a result, the following year Achiya opened its Teachers’ Training College in Bnei Brak, the first teachers’ training program to provide courses in special education to Haredi men. The school began with 24 students in one classroom. Today, there are more than 1,100 students in 56 classrooms, in 15 different branches throughout Israel.

 

Since developmental problems negatively impact learning and many of the children coming to Achiya’s Learning center also had developmental problems,  in 1998 Achiya opened its Developmental Center in Bnei Brak with a two speech therapists and two occupational therapists.

 

The Elad Developmental Center opened six years later, in 2004. In 2015, over 90 therapists (speech, occupational, physical, hydro, play, drama, music and emotional), social workers and psychologists treated more than 2,700 children in both the Bnei Brak and Elad Developmental Centers.

In 2005, Achiya developed and implemented its first early childhood intervention program in Elad and in Bnei Brak. By  teaching parents and teachers about the different stages of child development, this and  the following programs developed by Achiya, have raised public awareness to the need for early intervention. This has radically diminished the stigma of receiving professional therapy, and as a result, more and more children are receiving the help that they both need and deserve.