MARVA was founded in 2015 by a group of Israeli attorneys and social welfare experts who sought to assist and empower the most vulnerable in Israeli society who face difficulties in caring for their personal welfare, well-being, and legal rights.
MARVA translates as a healing plant, Salvia, but, more importantly, it is a Hebrew acronym for Law, Welfare, and Empowerment. The acronym represents the organization’s vision and professional world view of empowering vulnerable sectors by combining the content worlds of law and welfare.
The work of MARVA focuses primarily on empowering vulnerable populations through legal aid and advocacy for full legal rights, while also facilitating social welfare and therapeutic support, when necessary, in collaboration with other expert professionals. This holistic approach, facilitated by the multi-disciplinary nature of MARVA’s staff and volunteers, makes it possible for the organization to provide comprehensive solutions to issues that affect the lives and independence of at-risk individuals and their families. Through this effort, MARVA leverages its legal expertise to benefit needy populations, increase their access to entitlements, and improve their quality of life.
The Therapeutic Jurisprudence method emphasizes – the substantive law, legal procedures and the way in which legal agents act – on the emotional life and psychological well-being of the parties involved and those affected by the legal process. The theory requires being attuned to these consequences, which are known as “therapeutic consequences”, and if possible, to apply the law in a way that will minimize the negative therapeutic consequences and will maximize the positive therapeutic consequences, while maintaining respect for other values, such as justice and due process.
MARVA’s work is aimed at extending meaningful assistance in a range of areas for vulnerable individuals of all ages who are dealing with life concerns around disability, mental health challenges, elder abuse, and a range of legal issues that directly affect these populations. The organization also works closely with families and caregivers in order to protect and support their loved ones. MARVA has rapidly developed a large national network to support its mission and assist in addressing individual needy cases across Israel.
MARVA is led by an experienced team of attorneys and social welfare experts, with support from 30 volunteers. Thousands of people receive direct service through MARVA’s work each year. Thousands more – people in need and their families, attorneys, judges, doctors, social workers, and welfare workers -- participate in lectures and seminars led by MARVA experts on a variety of topics.