Es-Sense! A little workshop with a big vision.

Front of the Es-Sense shop in Jerusalem

On one of my recent trips to Jerusalem, I happened to walk into a little store called Es-Sense.  At first glance, Es-Sense seemed to be just another shop selling beauty products.  But as I began talking with the shop owners, Shay and Aurit Yacov, I quickly learned that this is no ordinary retail shop. 

A little taste of Es-Sense

All of the 100% natural products sold at the Es-Sense shop are produced from start to finish, by adults with Autism in a little workshop connected with the School of Agriculture, Ein Karem, a village 6 miles from Jerusalem.  Ein Karem is the birthplace of John the Baptist. 
The Yacovs began this program, which is housed at the School for Agriculture, in 2009.  Shay and Aurit are both teachers by profession.  They have three children, two of whom are Autistic.  Es-Sense was birthed by the Yacovs making soap as a developmental exercise with one of their children.  They soon discovered that the sensory process of soap making from scratch was a great developmental tool for their daughter; and one that she enjoyed very much.  It all grew from there and now this powerful Es-Sense program not only makes great soaps, but high quality lotions, candles, essential oils, perfumes, and many all natural cosmetic products. 


Shay Yacov and one of the Es-Sense workers showing us the process of making essential oils.

Today, over 70 adults with Autism come to learn and work at the program offered by the Yacovs.  Together with the high school students, teachers and employees, they tend to the farm and green houses growing all the herbs and plants needed for the products.  They help raise animals, do all the planting and harvesting, and learn to make over 200 excellent products, which are now being sold in the Es-Sense shop in the German Colony in Jerusalem.  The guiding principle of this community project turned business is that all people, of all ages and levels of functioning, are able to work together, can live full lives and contribute to the community. This project allows its participants to be part of the daily life of the Israeli community and to be engaged in productive and useful economic activities.


Beautiful finished products!

When I first found this store and learned what they were doing, I knew I wanted to be a part of it.  But I had to try out the products first.  So, I shipped a large assortment of products back to Austin and began using them.  I also shared them with my family and friends.  My children and grandchildren have been using the products for months and keep asking me when we will get more.  We especially love that all the products are made only from all natural ingredients. 



I am writing about Es-Sense to inform you, friends and supporters of Israel, about this unique program.  I hope to help spread the word and prosper this business that so greatly benefits the lives of the Israeli community. 

Here’s how you too can help:

1.     Please visit the store when you are in Jerusalem.

2.     Be a virtual volunteer: they need someone to help them translate their website, Facebook page and eBay sales into English. Definitely visit the Facebook page to see more pictures.

3.     Spread the word: help support their educational endeavor by sharing and promoting Es-Sense to your friends and family. 

4.     Ask about how you can distribute their products in your store. 

For additional information please contact us:

On my last visit to Jerusalem, Shay and Aurit honored me with this most precious gift: their first soap sculpture of the seal of Israel. And this year, they invited me to join their family celebration of Rosh HaShana. They have become dear friends. 

Other helpful links:

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