After opening their home for many years to at-risk youth, Yifat and Kory Bardash learned firsthand of the many hardships that these youth face as they age out of the social welfare and foster care system. Tragically, there was no program specifically tailored for this population. Therefore, in 2013, Yifat founded ATARA - an organization that tackles the critical challenges that young adults face as they age out.
With a deep belief in the value of a proper education and practical job skills, Yifat set out to build a unique project in Israel. The goal? Promote comprehensive social change and impact the lives of capable yet very disadvantaged youth.
Yifat initially partnered with Telem, a successful network that assists high school youth-at-risk (before aging out). Through Telem, they were able to build a program that addresses the specific needs and serve as natural recruiters for ATARA.
ATARA is a project of Ha’Aguda Le’hitnadvut (The Volunteer Association), the oldest and largest national service organization in Israel, encompassing over 50% of all those who register for service. The Volunteer Association’s goal is to fortify the fabric of Israel society through volunteerism. Volunteers hail from the entire range of Israeli society. The Volunteer Association is experienced in providing a national service framework for niche population sectors such as youth at risk and special needs young adults.
As a graduate of The Volunteer Association, Yifat understood that national service is vital in fostering the development of productive citizens, strengthening their sense of belonging and bridging social gaps in Israeli society.