Sarah is an outgoing, friendly, bright 13-year-old girl. She lives with her parents, brother and sister in a small town in the Shomron. Her family is religious and she attends a local national-religious school where she has many friends.
Sarah’s passion is caring for animals. When she was younger her family raised various animals in their backyard, and now they have a dog, which Sarah raised since he was an abandoned pup, and a cat, which Sarah’s sister found on the street and she and Sarah nursed back to health.
Sarah’s mother Chava is a social worker. Over the last school year, she noticed that her daughter gradually lost interest in her studies.
“Sarah confided in me that she felt restricted at school,” Chava said. “She felt she wasn’t allowed to share her opinions or ask challenging questions. In fact, she felt so confined that one day she ran away from school.”
Unbeknown to Chava, Sarah had started looking for a new school. One evening, Sarah excitedly called her mother over to the family’s computer, showing her a website she had just found, the * WIZO Gan Vanof Youth Village Veterinary Program.
“At first, I wasn’t sure what to think,” Chava admitted. “I hadn’t yet found a suitable alternative school for Sarah, but when I saw her face light up when she read to me off the website about the unique Veterinary Studies Program at WIZO Gan Vanof and the dog training program they have there, I decided to keep an open mind.”
While Sarah’s excitement soared, her mother was more cautious.
“I had no worries about academics, as I knew she would get a top notch education at Gan Vanof, or if she would fit in socially, because she is always able to make new friends,” Chava said. “But being religious, I had some concerns about keeping kosher and observing shabbat.”
Chava then phoned Uri Saar, the Director of WIZO Gan Vanof. “Uri was wonderful. He understood all my concerns immediately. He explained that WIZO Gan Vanof is 100% kosher and that on Friday .
*Names have been changed to maintain confidentiality