Helping you raise your child successfully

September 15_Carol LivermanMeet the people behind the great programs and services offered at Ometz! Our colleague Carol Liverman discusses Ometz Parlour Groups, an opportunity for parents to meet and share successes and challenges in bringing up children in today’s world.

What is your work position and how long have you been working at Ometz?

I am the Manager of Group Services at Ometz and have been working here for the past 20 years!

Can you describe Ometz Parlour Groups?

For the past 20 years, Ometz has offered the Parlour Group Program to parents in the Montreal community who are interested in sharing their parenting successes and challenges and learning new strategies to deal with their children. Eight to ten parents form a group and monthly meetings are scheduled with an Ometz professional facilitator. Topics for discussion vary depending on the ages of the children and the needs and interests of the parents; for example, bedtimes, conflict resolution, discipline, social media, friendships and more.

The Ometz facilitator brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the discussions. Participants are offered reading material to engage and stimulate conversation and learning.

What can parents expect from Ometz Parlour Groups?

The 300 people who currently participate in Parlour Groups schedule monthly meetings from September to June. Feedback from parents over the past 20 years has told us that they really appreciate the friendships that they form with other parents in a safe and accepting environment, the new parenting strategies they learn and the expertise they have access to as they bring up their children. Due to their effectiveness, we have many groups that have been meeting together for ten years and more.

How will Ometz services for parents evolve in the future?

Ometz is there for parents who are working hard to bring up their children in a complex world. We are always available to start new groups:  in multiple languages (English, French, Hebrew, Spanish, Russian, etc.), addressing specific issues (co-parenting, children with special needs, early childhood issues, adolescence, etc.) and at convenient times of the day and week (early morning, lunchtime, evenings, weekends).

In addition, Parlour Groups may be formed at your place of work so that you may meet together with colleagues at lunchtime.

To find out more about Ometz Parlour Groups, click here.

From the Heart: Stephanie Trigonakis

September 9_ Stephanie TrigonakisOmetz volunteer Stephanie Trigonakis shares her thoughts on helping children reach their goals.

As a student studying psychology, I was looking to find some experience in the field in order to evaluate if I am on the right path. While doing some research online, I discovered Ometz. After reading about the organization on the website, I immediately applied to become a volunteer. I was contacted shortly after for an interview and was lucky to be paired so quickly with a young boy who lives near me. This made the process much more convenient for me since I did not have to travel far to meet my student.

It has been over a year since I met this very special boy named Tristan. He was extremely enthusiastic about working with me which made me appreciate how much he wishes to succeed in school. I began meeting him once or twice per week at his elementary school, during class time, to give him personalized attention with his work.

During our first session, I discovered his struggle in believing that he can do well in French. He had a very negative attitude towards French and kept on repeating the phrase “I can’t”. I immediately encouraged him to get rid of those thoughts and instead to simply try his best. I realized that he needed a lot of encouragement and from then on, I began to praise every bit of effort that I would see from him.

He has attentional difficulties, and he often gets distracted or becomes extremely fidgety. In order to deal with these issues, we take multiple breaks during our sessions in order to give him a chance to exert some nervous energy and hopefully refocus on the task. Also, I always allow him some time to draw during our meetings since he loves it so much. He is a pretty good artist! We always try to find new fun ways to engage in the task. Lately, his concentration has drastically improved and he require less breaks.

Since I began working with him, he has been showing much improvement. I see in him so much potential for success. It is so rewarding to help a child reach their goals and feel more confident with their own abilities. He looks forward to our meetings every week which shows me how much he appreciates our time together.

Now, I also tutor Tristan’s younger brother. I love working with both of these boys. They always make me smile. Becoming an Academic Mentor has taught me a lot. It is at times challenging to get their full concentration on a certain task. However, this experience has taught me to find alternative fun ways to learn. Many children suffer from learning disabilities or from other mental disorders. Volunteering at Ometz has allowed me to gain insight into what it is to actually deal with such issues, and has made me realize my passion for working with children to help them succeed despite any obstacles.

For more information on how to get involved with Ometz Volunteer Services, click here.

Meilleures mesures d’impact grâce à un nouveau partenariat avec McGill

ImprimerUn nouveau partenariat pluriannuel avec le Centre de recherche sur l’enfance et la famille de l’Université McGill aidera l’Agence Ometz à trouver des moyens efficaces pour saisir et rendre compte de l’effet de nos services sur la vie de nos clients.

Le Centre de recherche sur l’enfance et la famille de l’Université McGill est un environnement de recherche de pointe sur le développement de programmes et de politiques efficaces pour les enfants et les jeunes vulnérables ainsi que leurs familles. Le Centre établit régulièrement des partenariats avec différents organismes de santé et de services sociaux qui visent les enfants et les adolescents à Montréal, et partout au Québec. Grâce au généreux soutien de la Fondation communautaire juive de Montréal, cette récente collaboration aidera l’Agence Ometz à développer les meilleurs outils pour mesurer l’impact de ses services sur les familles ayant des enfants d’âge scolaire.

«Répondre aux besoins des enfants et des jeunes de façon optimale nécessite une programmation soigneusement conçue qui répond à des normes de soins éprouvées», explique Delphine Collin-Vézina, directrice du Centre de recherche sur l’enfance et la famille. « Ce partenariat est une occasion de développer plus avant la prestation de services de première ligne offerts par l’Agence Ometz, de même que le suivi de ces services, auprès des enfants et des jeunes en difficulté. »

Un étudiant diplômé de McGill a commencé un examen approfondi des dossiers afin d’identifier les méthodes d’évaluation déjà utilisées et pour recommander les étapes permettant d’évoluer dans les méthodes de mesure des résultats pour les clients de l’Agence Ometz. Ces données aideront aussi à l’élaboration d’une grille d’analyse qui pourra s’appliquer à tous les enfants et les jeunes qui reçoivent des services à l’Agence Ometz, et évaluer leur bien-être dans quatre domaines principaux : éducation et contrôle cognitif, santé physique et mentale, développement social et émotionnel, et système familial.

Ces informations permettront de répondre aux questions suivantes: quels sont les clients qui profitent le plus des services offerts par l’Agence Ometz? Quels sont les domaines de bien-être sur lesquels les services ont une incidence favorable ? Y a-t-il des clients qui ne semblent pas bénéficier autant des programmes ? Que peut-on faire pour vous s’assurer de l’amélioration du bien-être de tous les clients dans tous les domaines ?

« Ceci est une excellente occasion pour l’Agence Ometz de confirmer l’excellent travail que nous accomplissons ici », dit Monique Lapointe, de l’Agence Ometz. Monique travaille en étroite collaboration avec l’équipe de McGill. « Notre partenariat avec McGill nous aidera à mieux présenter toute la profondeur de nos histoires étonnantes et à mieux comprendre l’impact de notre travail. »

New McGill Partnership Measures Success


A new multi-year partnership with McGill University’s Centre for Research on Children and Families (CRCF) will help Ometz find meaningful ways to capture and report on the impact of our services on the lives of our clients.

McGill’s CRCF is home to cutting-edge research on effective programs and policies for vulnerable children and youth and their families, and often partners with various child and youth health and social service agencies in Montreal and across Quebec. Thanks to the generous support of the Jewish Community Foundation of Montreal, this latest collaboration will help Ometz develop the best tools to measure service impact for families with school-aged children.

“Responding optimally to the needs of children and youth requires well-thought out programming that meets evidence-based standards of care,” says Delphine Collin-Vézina, Director of the Centre for Research on Children and Families. “The partnership is an opportunity to expand on the careful provision and monitoring of front-line services that Ometz provides to children and youth in need.”

A McGill graduate student has begun conducting an in-depth review of case files to identify evaluation methods already used in client records, and to recommend steps to move forward to measure Ometz client outcomes. They are also assisting in the development of a matrix applicable to all children and youth receiving services at Ometz, and assessing wellbeing across four main areas: education and cognitive control, physical and mental health, social and emotional development, and the family system.

This information will help answer the following questions: who are the clients best helped by Ometz services? What are the domains of well-being most positively impacted by the services? Are there some clients who do not seem to benefit as much from the programs? What can be done to make sure all clients improve their wellbeing across all domains?

“This is an exciting opportunity for Ometz to qualify the excellent work that we do here,” says Monique Lapointe of Ometz, who has been working closely with the McGill team. “Our partnership with McGill will help us to better tell our amazing stories, and understand the impact of our work.”

Un don de la famille Goodman soutient les enfants vulnérables de la communauté

Shawna Goodman Sone

Shawna Goodman Sone

Tout enfant mérite une chance de s’épanouir. Grâce à la générosité de la Fondation de la famille Morris et Rosalind Goodman, un don de 80 000 $ permettra à l’Agence Ometz d’aider des enfants de familles financièrement vulnérables à accéder au soutien pédagogique dont ils ont besoin, grâce au Fonds GAP, dont l’objectif est de donner la priorité à la prévention.

Agence Ometz travaille sans relâche pour aider les familles à répondre aux besoins des enfants qui, par un processus de dépistage et d’évaluations, ont été reconnus comme ayant besoin d’aide psychosociale et pédagogique spécialisée, d’ergothérapie ou d’orthophonie. Plusieurs de ces familles ne peuvent accéder à ces services du fait de leurs coût. Le Fonds GAP de l’Agence Ometz offre des subventions pour le soutien pédagogique et thérapeutique, tels que l’orthophonie, l’ergothérapie, les évaluations psychopédagogiques et des fonctions auditives, le tutorat et le counseling.

Le généreux don de la Fondation de la famille Morris et Rosalind Goodman, ainsi que de nouveaux fonds de la Fédération CJA, permettra à l’Agence Ometz d’offrir un soutien pédagogique essentiel à un plus grand nombre d’élèves et de veiller à ce que leurs besoins soient pris en compte de manière adéquate.

«Nous sommes fiers de soutenir l’Agence Ometz dans ses efforts pour répondre aux besoins des familles et des enfants de la communauté», dit Shawna Goodman Sone, Présidente de la Fondation de la famille Morris et Rosalind Goodman. « Nous espérons que ce financement permettra à l’Agence Ometz d’offrir aux enfants vulnérables de notre collectivité l’accès à des ressources fondamentales à un moment où une intervention précoce peut avoir le plus grand impact. »

Près de 25 % de notre population scolaire présente actuellement des difficultés ou des besoins qui peuvent réduire la capacité d’un élève à atteindre son potentiel scolaire, social et émotionnel. Ces troubles peuvent se présenter sous forme de problèmes d’apprentissage ou de comportements en classe qui entravent l’apprentissage, ou des symptômes sociaux et émotionnels qui imprègnent les relations interpersonnelles à l’école ou à la maison.

« L’Agence Ometz a pour mandat général d’aider à bâtir des communautés en veillant à ce que les individus et les familles qui les composent profitent du soutien et des ressources dont ils ont besoin pour être forts, résilients et en bonne santé », déclare Gail Small, Chef de la direction de l’Agence Ometz. « La participation de la Fondation de la famille Morris et Rosalind Goodman aidera davantage d’élèves qui éprouvent des difficultés d’apprentissage à rester à l’école et utiliser le soutien du Fonds GAP afin qu’ils puissent réaliser tout leur potentiel scolaire.»

Gift from Goodman Family Supports Vulnerable Children in the Community

Shawna Goodman Sone

Shawna Goodman Sone

Every child deserves a chance to thrive. Thanks to the generosity of The Morris & Rosalind Goodman Family Foundation, its gift of $80,000 will enable Ometz to help children from financially vulnerable families access learning supports through the Ometz Give Attention to Prevention (GAP) Fund.

Ometz works tirelessly to help families respond to the needs of their children who have been identified in screenings and assessments as being in need of specialized psycho-social and pedagogical help, occupational and speech therapy. For many of these families, the cost of these services makes access impossible. The Ometz GAP Fund provides subsidies for academic and therapeutic supports such as speech therapy, occupational therapy, psycho-educational assessments, auditory processing assessments, tutoring and counselling.

The Morris & Rosalind Goodman Family Foundation’s generous donation, along with new funding from Federation CJA, will allow Ometz to offer critical learning supports to a greater number of students and to ensure that their needs are being adequately addressed.

“We are proud to support Ometz in its efforts to respond to the needs of families and children in the community,” says Shawna Goodman Sone, President of The Morris & Rosalind Goodman Family Foundation. “Our intent is that this funding will allow Ometz to make key resources accessible to our community’s vulnerable children at the time when this early intervention can have the greatest impact.”
Close to 25% of our school population currently exhibits difficulties or needs that may diminish a student’s ability to reach their academic and/or social-emotional potential. These may present in the form of learning problems, classroom behaviors that interfere with learning or social emotional symptoms that color interpersonal relationships either in school or at home.

“Ometz has as its overall mandate to help build communities by ensuring that individuals and families have the supports and resources they need to be strong, resilient and healthy,” says Ometz CEO Gail Small. “The participation of The Morris & Rosalind Goodman Family Foundation will help more students who are experiencing learning difficulties to remain in their school and use the GAP supports in order to achieve their full academic potential.“

Un message de Gail – septembre 2016

Gail Small

Gail Small

À l’Agence Ometz, nous voulons assurer à chaque enfant le meilleur départ possible dans la vie. Nous savons que chez les jeunes, une intervention précoce de qualité offre l’impact durable le plus important; non seulement pour eux, mais aussi pour notre communauté en général. Notre équipe de professionnels et de bénévoles offre des services de soutien, d’orientation, d’apprentissage et de counseling afin que nos enfants grandissent en bonne santé, heureux et en sécurité — et pour qu’ils soient prêts à faire la transition vers l’âge adulte en toute confiance.

Au cours de la dernière année, afin d’offrir à nos jeunes un avenir plus prometteur nous avons instauré de nombreuses initiatives excitantes; incluant un département spécialisé dans les services aux jeunes, un programme élargi d’aide aux devoirs, de nouveaux services pour les jeunes adultes atteints de déficiences intellectuelles et du trouble du spectre autistique, des cours d’alphabétisation et un programme de mentorat accru. Nous aidons les jeunes adultes de notre population à acquérir des compétences qui favorisent l’employabilité, de même qu’à se trouver des stages de travail; d’année en année, notre programme de camp de jour Petits pas ne cesse de gagner en popularité.

Nous avons réussi ces initiatives grâce à l’appui généreux et constant de donateurs et partenaires qui partagent notre mission. Par exemple, grâce au Fonds GAP, des donateurs comme la Fondation de la famille Morris & Rosalind Goodman nous permettent d’aider des enfants de familles financièrement vulnérables à accéder au soutien à l’apprentissage offert à l’Agence Ometz. La constante générosité de nos loyaux mécènes Véronique et Herbert Black permet à l’Agence Ometz d’utiliser 100 % des fonds récoltés lors du gala-bénéfice annuel Dessine-moi une étoile pour aider les enfants et les jeunes à risque. Par ailleurs, nos nouveaux partenaires de l’Université McGill nous aident à développer de meilleurs outils pour mesurer l’impact de nos services sur la vie de tous les clients de l’Agence Ometz.

J’espère que vous serez inspirés par cette édition d’Onouvelles et par les histoires des personnes dévouées qui rendent mon travail tellement gratifiant. Dans l’année à venir, l’équipe de l’Agence Ometz continuera à servir la communauté en étant créative et passionnée, et nous avons hâte de partager cette aventure avec vous.


Gail Small
Chef de la direction

A Message from Gail – September 2016

Gail Small

Gail Small

At Ometz, we want to ensure that every child has the best possible start in life. We know that early and quality intervention with young people will have the most significant and long lasting impact; not only on them but on our community at large. Our team of professionals and volunteers offers support, guidance, learning and counselling so that our children grow up healthy, happy and safe — and prepared to transition into adulthood with confidence.

This past year, we have introduced a number of new, exciting initiatives focusing on providing our youth with more promising futures. These include a specialized youth department, expanded after school homework programs, new services for young adults with autism spectrum disorders and intellectual disabilities, literacy courses and growth of our mentorship program. We are helping our younger population with employability skills and work internships, and our Small Steps camp program continues to gain popularity each year.

We have achieved these goals because of the generous and constant support of our donors and partners who share our mission. Donors like The Morris & Rosalind Goodman Family Foundation, whose recent gift will enable Ometz to help children from financially vulnerable families access learning supports through the Ometz Give Attention to Prevention (GAP) Fund. Loyal patrons like Véronique and Herbert Black, who made it possible for 100% of the proceeds from Ometz’s fundraising gala, A Chance to Shine, go directly to our programs for children and youth at risk. And our new partners at McGill University, who will help Ometz develop the best tools to measure the impact of our services on the lives of all our clients across the agency.

I hope you will be inspired by this issue of Onews and the stories of the dedicated people who make my job so rewarding. In the coming year, the Ometz team will continue to serve the community with focus, passion and creativity and we look forward to sharing this journey with you.


Gail Small
Chief Executive Officer

From the Heart: Jennifer Braseliten

September 2_Jennifer BraselitenOmetz volunteer Jennifer Braseliten shares her thoughts on helping her student blossom into confidence.

Before my first encounter with my student, I felt nervous and excited. Volunteering with a student was something that I’ve always wanted to do but I never had enough courage to actually follow through. After taking the appropriate measures, I was finally paired up with an individual.

My first time meeting her went better than expected. She was a little bit shy, but I immediately felt a connection to her. She was quiet but laughed a lot, and did not have much confidence in the subject of French. I believe I connected with her so well because she reminded me of myself when I was her age.

It was clear to see her weakness and lack of confidence when it came to reading French. This was the focus of our sessions every time we met. The first encounter where we focused reading and grammar, she struggled at pronouncing the what-seemed-to-be complicated phrases. Each session we had together, I would teach her easy tricks to remember. Her favorite trick that seemed to stick with her was taking a tough word and breaking it down into different sections to pronounce.

It was truly incredible to see the difference from our first session to our last. She went from being a discouraged little girl who blossomed into a confident student. I was amazed at her accomplishments and I can’t help but feel proud of myself as well. It is a wonderful feeling knowing that I had such a positive impact on somebody.

For more information on how to get involved with Ometz Volunteer Services, click here.

From the Heart: Emily Dermer

August 26_Emily Dermer_testimonialOmetz volunteer Emily Dermer shares her thoughts on passing on her love of sciences to her student.

As a student who loves school and learning, I have always felt a desire to pass that onto others. This prompted me to get involved with Ometz a few years back, when I started working with a young girl starting grade 4. Our Sunday morning meetings consisted mainly of reading books together – something I looked forward to doing each week.

While school got in the way of my commitment to tutoring back then, I decided to take it up again recently. This time I got paired with a girl older than the first, studying Health Sciences in CEGEP. Having completed that same program myself, I was really looking forward to starting with her and passing on my love of sciences. We began meeting weekly at the library, where we worked together on calculus, chemistry and physics.

It did not take very long for me to realize that I had been paired with somebody very special. While she was having trouble with the majority of her science classes, due mainly to a lack of previous experience with the subject matter, she refused to give up and only continued to work harder as we worked together. She continued to amaze me each lesson; she not only reviewed in advance and came prepared with questions, but also continually showed and voiced how excited she was to be learning the topics and working together. She was completely appreciative to be receiving the help, as well as eager to learn everything and more so that she could continue working on her own later on.

This student demonstrates remarkable potential for success and it was incredibly rewarding to be able to work together to make sure that this potential was reached. Ometz provided me with an opportunity to be a teacher, a mentor and a friend. This proved to be an amazing learning experience for both the student and myself, as we worked together to master the material and build her confidence in her ability to do well. I was also given the opportunity to build a friendship that I never would been able to otherwise. This was truly a special experience and I now encourage my friends and family to take on similar opportunities in the community.

For more information on how to get involved with Ometz Volunteer Services, click here.