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Kfar Yona Photography Group Receives Prestigious Award

November 2015

Members of the Kfar Yona Photography Group with Israel Elwyn's CEO, David Marcu

Several years ago, Meir Goldstein, a professional at Israel Elwyn’s Kfar Yona Occupational Training Center, initiated a photography course to help participants develop job skills and enter the competitive job market. Following completion of the course, the group – who call themselves “Photographing from the Heart” – continues to train with their mentor while photographingevents around the country and appearing at traveling exhibitions of their works.

This unique group photographed the official opening of Israel Elwyn's (IE) Weinberg Retiree Center in Jerusalem, captured unusual shots during the annual national Good Deeds Day, and created magnets from participants' photographs at several public and private events.  Exhibitions of their works have been displayed at several community centers and, most recently, the annual competition of professional baristas sponsored by Israel Elwyn’s corporate partner, the nationwide chain Aroma Espresso Bar Ltd.  

On November 19, the participants of “Photographing from the Heart” received the Shalem Foundation Excellence Award in the category of contribution to the community by individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  The Shalem Foundation was established in 1983 by the Union of Local Authorities (municipal governments) in cooperation with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services, and tirelessly works to develop comprehensive services and resources for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities throughout Israel. 

The group’s six participants - Orel, Meital, Tamir, Maya, Rachel and Shmuel - were thrilled.  Their reactions included:  “Wow, I don’t believe it,” “I’m so excited,” “I’ll ask my parents to come to the ceremony with me,” and “It’s like a dream come true!”

For Meir, who manages the group, the award confirms what he and IE’s management believe:  that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are capable of much more than that for which the general public gives them credit.  “They have so much to contribute to the community and are glad for every opportunity to develop and use their constantly developing skills for their own benefit and that of society at large.”






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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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