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Weinberg Center Dedication Marks Many “Firsts”

  

L-r: Audience at Dedication; Meir and Bari removing donor sign; Tamir Pinchas, Professor Shlomo Mor-Yosef (Director General - National Insurance Institute); Mrs. Audrey Meline, Dr. Barry Alter and Dr. Sam Meline (all from Broward County, FL), David B. Marcu (IE CEO), Orel Suissa*

On Wednesday, June 11, retired workers with disabilities, their guests and IE professionals celebrated the dedication of Israel Elwyn’s (IE) Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Retiree Center in Jerusalem.

After years of dreaming of a purpose-built center by the seniors who initiated IE’s Retiree Program and by IE’s management and staff, the Center’s construction was completed several months ago.  Since then, the retirees – who previously spent their active days in cramped quarters – have been settling into their expansive new surroundings.  The group of 20 retirees that used to meet in IE’s Sabbah Center Retiree Program has been joined by 12 new retirees and others are in the process of joining.  The new building is expected to provide services to a total of 50 retirees in a daily program, with an additional 50 seniors who continue to work part time participating in activities in accordance with their individual schedules. Therapies are also offered to the retirees in order to maintain existing skills and develop new ones.

Guest speakers included Professor Shlomo Mor-Yosef, Director General - National Insurance Institute (Israel’s Social Security Administration); Mr. Gideon Shalom, Senior Deputy Director General and Director – Division of Intellectual and Developmental Disability, Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services; Ms. Bonnie Goldberg, Director - Jerusalem Municipality Welfare and Community Services Administration; and Mr. Haim Ga’ash, Chairperson - Shalem Fund.  Additional speakers were Mr. David B. Marcu, CEO - Israel Elwyn and two of the retirees in the program, Mr. Avner Nadav, who recited the Shehechiyanu**, and Mr. Shlomo Cohen, who related his experiences and the activities offered him and his fellow retirees. 

Also present at the dedication were Mr. Stanley Sebba (Samuel Sebba Charitable Trust) and Mrs. Audrey Meline, Dr. Barry Alter and Dr. Sam Meline (representing the Jewish Community of Broward County, FL).

Mr. Meir Heller was particularly moved by the ceremony, as it represented the culmination of the challenge he presented to IE staff 15 years ago:  to retire and – just like any other Israeli retiree – participate in a senior center where he could continue to enjoy a wide range of activities.

The new Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Retiree Center meets green building standards by taking advantage of natural light and air, film-coated double-glazed windows, energy-efficient LED lighting and other features.  The building was also planned to complement the style of the Kiryat HaYovel neighborhood in which it is located.

* Photographers Orel Suissa and Tamir Pinchas (both of whom work at Israel Elwyn's Kfar Yona Occupational Training Center) are part of "Photography from the Heart," a joint project of Israel Elwyn and the Kfar Yona Department of Social Services.  These budding photographers, who have already had several exhibitions, are learning their trade from Meir Goldstein, an experienced photographer who is on the staff of the Kfar Yona OTC.

**A common Jewish prayer said to celebrate special occasions.






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Sincerely,
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David B. Marcu, Chief Executive Officer

IE's mission is to develop and provide a wide array of supports and tools for people with disabilities, while constantly striving for excellence of service and the creation of a just society. Together with people with disabilities and society at large, we shall continue working as an innovative and cutting-edge organization.

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