Bayit Chayim

House of Life | Growing the future of Israel, child by child...

Partner with us

Bayit Chayim is a Canadian Charitable organization that is helping to grow the future of Israel child by child through our Israel partner Be’ad Chaim, a registered Israeli non-profit Humanitarian Organization, who is dedicated to the protection of mothers and unborn children. The Israeli Knesset just recently recognized Be’ad Chaim for its substantial contribution to the protection of mothers and children. Be’ad Chaim is having a significant impact on change in Israeli society as Social Workers, Welfare Officials, and needy families around the country refer mothers with unborn children and crisis pregnancies to one of Be’ad Chaim’s 12 offices nationwide.

Young expectant mothers in Israel who need help due to the short-term economic and psychological difficulties that often accompany an unanticipated pregnancy currently have little to no support. In Israel, over half of the 20,000 pregnancies terminated is a result of out-of-wedlock conception. Many Israeli women opt for abortion in response to financial concerns. When asked if they would keep their babies if they knew that a stroller, crib, diapers and other needs would be covered, nearly all of the women said yes. Be’ad Chaim’s key program, “Operation Moses” currently supports 450 mothers and babies. Be’ad Chaim in Israel operates a national hotline as well as 12 different counseling centers throughout the state of Israel. They provide services nearly every 24 hours a day in Hebrew, Arabic, Russian and English.

House of Life is raising funds here in Canada to help provide services like education, information, on-going emotional help and counseling for these young expectant mothers in Israel as they prepare for the birth of their baby. It also provides tangible and practical help like alternative housing during pregnancy, baby supplies such as crib, stroller, baby bath, baby carrier, and cloths for their infants including formula and diapers.

Partner with us by leaving a legacy that promotes "Inner Aliyah" within our homeland!

We invite you to support this project and help Bayit Chayim to become a reality for both the young families that it will assist and also for the state of Israel, whose future will become more secure with the growth and development of its citizens.

Studies have shown that when single mothers are empowered with skills and proper support to help them to improve their lives and the lives of their children, incredible things happen, and generations of families are impacted.

For example:

  • Health conditions of children and adults improve.
  • Families are in a better situation to give back to the community.
  • Children grow up well-adjusted and do better in school and in life.

Here in Canada, centers that help young expectant mothers and their infants have existed for nearly a hundred and fifty years, in every large community.  What a wonderful opportunity for Canadians to showcase in Israel our residential model that has helped so many women throughout the generations here in Canada. We invite you to support Bayit Chayim- House of Life to help these young expectant mothers who have chosen to give birth, and give them a helping hand and to bless Israel, whose future will become more secure with the growth and development of its citizens.

Our purpose and objective

Helping grow the future of Israel child by child through our Israel partner Be’ad Chaim, a registered Israeli non-profit Humanitarian organization dedicated to the protection of mothers and unborn children. House of Life is raising funds here in Canada to help provide services like education, information, on-going emotional help and counseling for these young expectant mothers in Israel as they prepare for the birth of their baby. It also provides tangible and practical help like alternative housing during pregnancy, baby supplies such as crib, stroller, baby bath, baby carrier, and cloths for their infants including formula and diapers.

Our mission

To provide in Israel a safe and trusting environment for young expectant mothers through Pre-Natal and Post-Natal Care programs. Support is provided throughout the pregnancy with ongoing parenting and life skills, education, information, counseling and support programs through a variety of community services.

Our vision

We envision these young expectant mothers, their children and families leading healthy, meaningful and productive lives by helping them through the short-term economic and psychological difficulties that often accompany an unanticipated pregnancy.

Parenting
Long and short term goals

Our final goal is to provide a comprehensive range of early intervention, prevention and treatment services to meet the needs of young families in Israel.

1. Pre-natal and post-natal care program

  • Residential services will facilitate pre-natal care as a positive start to the parent/child relationship and a best start for the child.
  • Pre-natal support services provide resources and education to support healthy pregnancies and encourage breastfeeding.
  • Pre-natal care will also include support and preparation for labour and delivery.
  • Post-natal care will assist in preparation for independent living (transitional / supportive housing).

2. Life skills and parenting skills program

Life skills programs will help develop the necessary skills for women to manage their day-to-day lives in a healthier way for themselves and their children.

  • Life skills will include parenting techniques from infant years to adolescence, effective coping strategies, tips on parenting and budgeting, stress and time management and creative ways of balancing work, home and parenting responsibilities.
  • Parenting skills programs will also include substance abuse and abuse prevention. Poverty, abuse and family conflict are often barriers to women’s healthy development. Women who have experienced multiple risk factors may have limited parenting ability.
  • Early child development programs include parenting programs and opportunities for play-based learning for early child development.

3. Residential and community counselling program

Counselling is provided to young expectant mothers living in the home and young parents living in the community who require support in preparation for their newborn.

  • Counseling programs and services will also assist young expectant mothers and young parents to overcome obstacles in their lives, to make decisions about adoption or parenting, to better care for themselves and learn skills that will improve their lives. Many young parents isolated because of their poor social, economic and family circumstances find it difficult to gain the assistance they
    need.
  • Home visits and community based programs will enable the families to access ongoing support as they work towards their individual goals.
  • Parenting groups will facilitate group discussions for young parents to address different stages of child development, including effective communication with children, effective discipline, cultural impact on parenting and successful single parenting.
  • Peer support groups will bring a wealth of support and life experiences to the young women. This team is responsible for activities such as life skills programs including assertiveness training, techniques for increasing self-esteem / self-confidence, effective decision making, goal setting, motivation and conflict resolution.

4. Provide the basic necessities for young families

Through corporate and community donations, we will assist young families with food, clothing, housing start-up items, age appropriate toys and child supplies.

We need you. Canadians can make a direct impact on the future of Israel!

Founded in 2004

Bayit Chayim – House of Life received its registered charitable status from Canada Revenue Agency on September 7th, 2009 and has the support of Canadian Members of Parliament, The Consulate General of Israel and The Centre for Israel & Jewish Affairs.

Bayit Chayim – House of Life is a fruitful partnership between the nation of Canada and the State of Israel. Partner with us by leaving a legacy that promotes “Inner Aliyah” within Israel.

Bayit Chayim - House of Life was founded in 2004 by Caroline Oostrom and the late Sandy Stern (who also founded Canadian’s Against Anti-Semitism), in response to a deplorable lack of suitable maternity and infant care of young expectant mothers and their children in Israel. Since Sandy Stern’s passing in October 2008, Sandy’s sister Honey King has stepped forward to support her sister’s dream of building Bayit Chayim and ensuring that every young mother and child has the opportunity to become a contributing member of Israeli society.

Caroline’s Grandfather, Cornelius Oostrom was a leader in the 'underground movement' in Utrecht, Netherlands during World War II. He was a veterinarian by trade, giving him access to the local farmers. He also owned a supply store giving him the opportunity to distribute the supplies and ammunitions for the movement. Cornelius and his family immigrated to Canada in 1952. In the early eighties, Caroline’s father, John Oostrom, became a Member of Canada's Parliament, the first Dutch man born in the Netherlands to be elected to the House of Commons. One of his portfolios was serving as Vice-Chair of Immigration and Israeli relations. Caroline’s mother Benjamine passed away when she was young leaving behind three daughters and a son who is buried at Beth Tzedec Memorial Park in Toronto.

Special thanks to all the volunteer board members, sponsors and donors for supporting our initiatives in Israel in helping young expectant mothers and their infants.

Political support

DJ Schneeweiss, Consul General of Israel, 2013

Mr. Schneeweiss is standing behind Bayit Chayim and encourages the Jewish community to join in supporting this project.

Caroline and Consul General

 

Hadas Wittenberg-Silberstein, Deputy Consul General of Israel, 2012

 

Amir R. Gissin, Consul General of Israel, 2011

He states that “…such a project would contribute greatly to the health and well-being of a number of young Israeli women and their children.” He further cited the success of such centres in Canada as an example for “…Canadians to showcase, in Israel, a residential model that has helped generations of Canadian women”.

 

Ya’acov Brosh, Consul General of Israel, 2004

Ya’acov Brosh noted that most Israeli couples who want to adopt children must adopt foreign children outside of Israel due to the lack of Sabra infants in Israel. The value of having a Centre like Bayit Chayim would help to address this problem by facilitating Israeli infant births, and its possibility for adoption, thereby maintaining and growing the Jewish population.

Contact

If you have any questions, please contact

Caroline Oostrom-Best, President
Bayit Chayim – House of Life
1468 O’Hara Court
Oshawa, ON  L1J 8A4
905-723-7374

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