“I will bring back My People, Israel and Judah, and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their Fathers.”
Jeremiah 30:3

The Vision

The vision of Streams in the Desert is to provide a place to call “home” for elderly Jews already in Israel or who are planning to immigrate to Israel.

The New Life Centre will be an integrated retirement community, featuring:

  1. Apartments for the independent
  2. Assisted living department
  3. Nursing department
  4. Department for dementia care
Anna Pouring Tea
BH Group in Garden


We have provided shared accommodation since 1997 for independent elderly Russian new immigrants.

  • We cooperated with another organisation in Jerusalem for 12 years. During that time, 40 different pensioners enjoyed the security of a shared home while maintaining their independence and even going out to work.
  • In 2000, the Trustees, along with others, registered a non-profit organisation in Israel now called “The Open Gateway”


With God’s miraculous provision, we were able to buy houses in Beit Shemesh,
where more than 60 senior citizens have benefited
from living in a place to call “home”. 

The problem

It is almost impossible for an elderly Jewish person in the Diaspora, especially the former USSR, to be granted permission to immigrate to Israel, unless they have a relative who will take care of them. Understandably officials are concerned that they would be a financial burden on the State of Israel, but by law they have the right to return.

The solution

We will provide accommodation for elderly new immigrants upon arrival in Israel according to their health and mobility needs. If they are independent and choose to move out into the community, we can facilitate that for them too, as we want to promote independence, not take it away from them.

Two Organisations With a Common Goal

Helen Mears is currently the director of


About Helen Mears

Helen, a district nurse and midwife, worked in England and Africa. In 1986 she was drawn to join a tour group to Israel. God had been speaking to her through His Word about her next step, but she was surprised during the tour to be reminded of those Scriptures and the fact that they referred to Israel.

Over the next few years Helen was a volunteer in Jerusalem. From 1992-94 she worked as a volunteer nurse in a hotel being used as an absorption centre for new immigrants from Russia. The majority of the residents were elderly. Helen was ably assisted by Galina, one of the residents, who translated into Russian for her.

However, the residents' biggest need was a place to call “home”. In 1994 the Lord spoke to Helen that He wanted her to do something about it, and to establish a place for them.

“Streams in the Desert” was born.