Coffee & Small Talk- Hafuch Al Hafuch

During the period of adolescence, teens find themselves coping with a wide spectrum of difficulties and crises. Without support and appropriate resources, their distress can escalate into violent behavior, delinquency, drug and alcohol abuse and, in some cases, lead to seclusion, depression and harming one’s self.

What is Coffee & Small Talk- Hafuch Al Hafuch?

ELEM operates a national network of youth counseling and information centers called Coffee & Small Talk – Hafuch Al Hafuch. The centers, located across the country, offer group and individual counseling, assistance and support. Operating since 1999, the centers are designed like cafes and enable youth to meet with professionals and volunteers in a relaxed manner, as well as providing opportunities to socialize with their peers. The activities in the centers include group meetings for guidance and support, individual sessions, workshops and volunteer projects. ELEM’s staff works in close cooperation with other youth services in the area and refer teens for further guidance and treatment where necessary.

Where do we operate?

There are 26 centers throughout the country: Kiryat Shmona, Tsfat, Nazareth Illit, Kiryat Yam, Netanya, Tel Aviv, Holon, Ashdod, Kiryat Gat and Sderot. Click here for the full map of our projects.

Who is served?

Coffee & Small Talk centers are intended for youth ages 12-18 who experience various challenges and levels of functioning. The teens range from those coping with typical hardships of adolescence who are in need of counseling and support, to those experiencing acute crises and/or various levels of isolation and neglect. In 2018 5,000 youth received assistance. In a study of 150 youth examining the effectiveness of Coffee & Small Talk centers in reducing dangerous behaviors among youth, the findings showed that ELEM’s work succeeds in significantly reducing dangerous behaviors such as violence, dropping out of school and substance abuse.

“I had some very difficult moments over the last year, when I felt like I was angry at the entire world and I wanted to break it. The center director and the volunteers were with me and guided me even when I came to the center angry. They looked forward to seeing me every time. They made me feel loved and like I always had a place to go. Sometimes, I feel like this is the only place that I can talk without being told what to do, without being kicked out, without being ignored.”

Noam, 17, ELEM’s “Hafuch Holon” drop-in Center

 Achievements for 2018

  • 2,402 new teens were identified this year by youth center staff and received responses to their needs.

  • 879 teens reported an improvement in their ability to develop and maintain social ties as a result of the youth centers.

  • 442 youth center graduates integrated into the army, national service and the workforce.

  • 28 youth center volunteers are graduates who returned to counseling and volunteering at the centers from which they came, choosing to help at-risk teens at the place that helped them when they were in distress.

  • In 2018, ELEM expanded work in the Ultra-Orthodox community. One project conducted was “Ateret Tiferet” which assists at-risk teen girls and young women in Ultra-Orthodox society. The project seeks to locate the girls, build their trust and provide ongoing personal guidance.

Expansion and Development Goals

  • Utilize our new work models to provide increasing numbers of young adults and teens approaching 18 the skills needed for independent living.

  • Expand our work in the Ultra-Orthodox/Charedi and Bedouin communities.

  • Recruit additional volunteers for the centers and provide additional training support.