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The Hazon Petaya Rehabilitation Centre

by: Mrs Simcha Petaya-Ovadiya, Director of the Hazon Petaya Centre

For over 25 years, the Hazon Petaya Rehabilitation Center in Jerusalem has been providing rehabilitation through work for men and women who cannot hold jobs any place else, because of physical problems or emotional disturbances. Since its founding by my late father, Shaul Petaya, the Center has taught a trade and helped rehabilitate over 2,000 psychiatric patients.

At Hazon Petaya, each individual does real work in packaging, sewing and print production finishing. The work is supervised by a professional staff, with counsel provided by psychologists and social workers.

Patients receive salaries which are most often not covered by the actual work done. At Hazon Petaya, the work is never an end in itself, but a therapy leading to healing and recovery. In fact, most of the patients at Hazon Petaya remain dependent for the rest of their lives, but a number do go on to find jobs outside, get married, begin studying and even start their own businesses.

In recent years, however, government support for Hazon Petaya has been cut and increased competition has made it more difficult to obtain work for the patients. As a result, the Hazon Petaya Center has built up a huge debt and can only accept a fraction of all potential patients.

By sending your contribution to Hazon Petaya today, you will help us to continue to provide "rehabilitation through work" - the best medicine for those who need to feel self-esteem, self-worth and pride in their accomplishments.


Scribe: How Rommell was halted.

On her visit to our offices, Mrs Petaya related that in 1942 Rommell and his German army were advancing rapidly along the Egyptian coast towards Palestine. The Jews there became afraid of the consequences of falling into the hand of the Nazis, and many thought of different ways of committing suicide. Shaoul Petaya went to the British Commanding Officer and asked him to let him use an aeroplane to save the situation by prayers and supplications. As the situation was desperate the officer agreed, and Shaoul Petaya took 12 white chickens and flew around the country killing the chickens one by one as sacrificial offering for the safety of Palestine and throwing them out of the window on the ground below. It appears that soon thereafter Rommell's advance was halted and the tide began to turn against him. The Jews of Palestine drew a deep sigh of relief, while the Arabs became greatly disappointed. They had been chanting everywhere, "Hasten your steps Rommell".

A similar incident was recently reported by the BBC during the long winter drought in Israel. Ten Orthodox Rabbis took an aeroplane with live chickens and performed a similar ritual. Two days later, reported the BBC, the rain began to fall and the drought came to an end.

Nevertheless, the Arabs, who were on the side of Hitler, received all the benefit of the Second World War, while the Jews who were on the side of the Allies are still struggling for a coastal strip of rocky territory.



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