top of page

Mission & Goals

Violence prevention through groundbreaking
self-defense programs


Founded in 2003, El HaLev is an Israeli non-profit organization that strives to prevent sexual, emotional, and physical violence through innovative educational programs. With a burning devotion to reduce the scope of violence towards women and youth in Israel, we work with groups of women of all ages, adolescents, children, and other vulnerable populations, equipping them with simple, empowering, and effective tools for personal safety, self-protection, assertion of personal boundaries and management of conflicts within a variety of risk and violent situations.


El HaLev programs operate in a unique method called Empowerment Self Defense (ESD) – an internationally renowned self-protection method, which provides a multi-dimensional solution to dealing with various forms of violence by teaching a combination of physical and mental skills for coping with violence and threats. With ESD academically proven as the most effective means known today for the prevention of gender-based violence, we envision a world in which the ESD tools and skills we teach are accessible to all women and vulnerable populations in Israel. 

El HaLev holds personal safety and self-protection programs in schools, youth villages, boarding homes, special education programs, hostels, violence prevention centers, shelters and more. In 2019 El HaLev received the status of a Consultative NGO for the Economic and Social Committee of the U.N. (ECOSOC), in recognition of its unique expertise. Also in 2019, El HaLev founder, Yudit Sidikman, received the the Minister of Social Equality in Israel’s annual award for El HaLev’s activity to end violence against women in Israel. 

With hundreds of programs taking place every year and over 100,000 program graduates to date, we are working hard on making our society a healthier and safer one. 

El Halev’s chief goals comprise of the following: 

  •  To instill personal safety and Empowerment Self-Defense skills among children, teens, women, older adults, and people with special needs, while aspiring to prevent violence in its various forms and to reduce its ramifications in all social sectors, on a national level, as the Israel-based leader of the international movement for Empowerment Self-Defense. 

  • To Raise awareness and effect meaningful and sustainable social change regarding the importance of instilling basic self-defense and violence prevention practices and their perception as fundamental physical and emotional skills; To bring about this conceptual change in educational, academic, caregiving, welfare, and community institutions, by means of outreach activity, research, government ties, and public policy changes, as well as the construction of an international, accessible body of knowledge. 

  • To revolutionize violence prevention views and practices in Israel, in that elementary lifesaving skills will be a mandatory element of every child’s education in the country. 

bottom of page