MATAT Project

(Hydrotherapeutic volunteer work, water activities with the Golan Heights therapeutic kindergartens)

The project's name was selected based on the belief that the giving process is a two-way process, which gives to the giver no less than to the receiver.


This unique project began in the 2006 (5767) school year, as an experimental project for the Ulpenat Ayal Baramah and the Noga Pool in Ma'ale Gamla, a project which combines the study of hydrotherapy and therapeutic swimming principles with practical experience.

The project is designed for a multi-age group of the Ulpena (religious girl school) girls and is a volunteer based activity.

The girls are selected in consultation with the Ulpena's faculty.

Throughout the year each of the girls receives personal guidance which includes a one on one conversation, support, and guidance for their final project.

This year (5773, 2013) for the first time ever in Israel and worldwide, the MATAT Project's curriculum has been adjusted to the Halliwick method, so that at the end of the year the students who took part in the project will receive a "Halliwick Method Instructor" diploma from the international Halliwick Organization, and will be able to lead swimming teaching groups using this method, in any framework they may be.

A Little about the Ulpena Girls

The Ulpenat Ayal Baramah is a religious ulpena for girls under boarding school conditions – the girls are aged 14 to 18 years old (9th to 12th grade). The Ulpena accepts girls who could not fit in the customary educational frameworks. Most of them have Attention Deficit Disorders and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders (ADD / ADHD) and complex behavioral problems.

The Ulpena combines its curriculum with day to day life which is adapted to the girls' abilities, with added contents such as extra curriculum activities and various volunteer works, in order to prepare them for adulthood and for their national service year, which most of them elect to serve instead of the mandatory military service.

The General Curriculum

During their sessions, the girls are exposed to a variety of disabilities in the various fields of child development: motor, emotional, sensory, and cognitive. In addition, subjects and principles related to the attributes of water and their advantages as a therapeutic tool are being taught; they are also taught how to implement these principles in practice. It is important to note that religious ulpenas in Israel do not teach any physics, there is hardly any English and mathematics studies and therefore it was not easy (to say the least) for them to deal with Bernoulli's and Archimedes' principles and Longitudinal Rotation Control.

Session Structure

Each session lasts two hours.

The theoretical part last for one hour and includes theoretical material about the Halliwick Method / observation analysis / referring to questions and analyzing emotional processes the girls go through during their sessions with the children, and preparing the pool for water activities with the children.

During the second hour, the girls are divided into two teams – one team works with the children in the water under the guidance of a certified hydro-therapist, while the other team deals with preparing the children to enter the water (practicing daily skills), observation, and writing down what is done in the water as accompanying and supporting the children at the end of the session (dressing up and getting organized for departure). Once or twice a month the group receives an additional three hours long session, which is divided into the theoretic part of the Halliwick method and lessons in the water using this method.

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