How it all began
Reuth - originally named Women's Social Service – was founded in 1937, on the seashore of Tel Aviv, by a group of women, immigrants from Germany, under the leadership of Mrs. Paula Barth. The aim of the newly established organization was to assist new immigrants who were hard put to find a sufficient livelihood in their new land. The energetic women set up a soup kitchen, offering warm meals to the needy, opened a nursery school to enable parents to find employment, and built Beit Shalom - a new home, at the center of Tel Aviv, for elderly immigrants who had left their world behind.
The dynamic founders set the guiding principle that has directed Reuth ever since: Filling in the gaps! Our mission, in every era, is to respond to the most urgent, yet unaddressed, needs of Israeli society; to lend a helping hand to those whom no one else will help. Thus, in every period and every situation, Reuth has met the changing social challenges, assisting those among us who are weak and helpless: the old, the sick, the disabled and the poor.
And so, as the needs changed with time, Reuth's services changed and grew to address them. After the Holocaust, when survivors flooded in from the ravaged continent of Europe, the organization built Beit Bracha and Beit Achva – subsidies housing complexes offering 300 residential units for elderly immigrants. During the economic slump of the early 1950's, the tireless women of Reuth handed out clothes and basic food products to needy families. And at the beginning of the 1960's they established two retirement homes for immigrants looking for a traditional lifestyle – Beit Gila in Tel Aviv's Yad Eliyahu neighborhood, and Beit Barth in Jerusalem.
In 1961 Reuth opened the Lichtenstaedter Hospital for the disabled and chronically ill. The facility, which offered 44 beds, was the only one of its kind in Israel at the time, and the demand for its services grew very rapidly: in 1966 two more stories were added, and the number of beds rose to 120, and later to 160. In the 1970's the organization established the current campus of what is today Reuth Medical & Rehabilitation Center, offering more than 300 beds.
A mission that never stops
Reuth of the 21st century is one of Israel's leading nonprofits in the fields of health, welfare & old age. It continues to operate and develop the crucial institutions established by its founding mothers, forever adapting them to the changing needs: Reuth Medical & Rehabilitation Center is today one of the country's most advanced facilities for rehabilitation and long-term care; the organization's three retirement homes – Beit Barth, Beit Shalom and Beit Jenny Breuer – are in high demand in the traditional sector; and the protected community housing complex, still occupying the old buildings of Beit Bracha and Beit Achva, is the home of 200 low-income seniors, many of whom are Holocaust survivors and new immigrants.
Many more projects and pioneering initiatives have been added over the decades: the Reuth-Eshel Information Center, providing information and guidance on any topic related to old age; the Caring Family website, offering easy access to comprehensive information for the elderly and their caretakers; the Agam Institute addressing the affliction of the modern world – eating disorders; Reuth-Open Door advising young people with disabilities in the sensitive areas of relationships and sexuality; and three community centers for seniors in Tel Aviv: Reich and Mitchell in the northern part of town, and HaKerem in the Kerem HaTeimanim neighborhood.
And the good work never stops… Reuth's activities grow continuously, with every new initiative powered and propelled by the Spirit of Reuth, which has filled our sails since the very beginning: a spirit of compassion, acceptance and dignity for every human being.