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Water, Chocolate and Nature


L-r: Beit Chanan residents tour by horse-drawn wagons along the Jordan; Hands-on chocolate seminar

During quieter times in May, which we hope and pray will return very soon, 32 residents of Israel Elwyn’s (IE) Beit Chanan Supported Apartments in Jerusalem took a break from their routine to travel north for a week’s vacation.  Together with six support staff, the residents set out from Jerusalem for the trip to their accommodations in Tabgha on the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee (Lake Kinneret).

Each day, the residents headed out for a different experience.  On the first day they visited Hamat Gader, a favored destination for travelers who want to soak and relax in the natural hot springs.  Baths were constructed on the site by the Romans in the 2nd century C.E. and have been visited since then by innumerable visitors to the region.  The natural sulphur springs are renowned for their healing properties, as well as for providing a relaxing experience.

On the second day, the residents visited a water park on the shores of the Kinneret, where they especially enjoyed the water slides.  This and the third day’s activity – a chocolate seminar – were particular favorites.  After seeing a film on the origins of chocolate and explanations of how it is made, the residents themselves prepared chocolate creations to take home to friends and family.

On the fourth day, the residents set out in horse-drawn carriages for a tour along the unpaved trails near the Jordan River, where they were able to view wildlife and hear stories of the region.  During one of their stops they were refreshed by herbal tea prepared on the spot by the guides.

During their sojourn near the Kinneret, the residents enjoyed barbecues and prepared pita bread and pizzas that were baked on outdoor stoves.

When asked about their experience, the residents were unanimous in praising the water slides and are eager to return there for another frolic in the cooling waters under the hot Israeli sun.

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Beit Chanan is a supported apartment building located in Jerusalem and operated by Israel Elwyn.  Since opening in 2007, Beit Chanan has provided its residents, all of whom have intellectual disabilities, with comfortable and attractive surroundings and a way of life that heightens their desire and ability to achieve a measure of independence.  With the supports provided, they strive to take care of themselves and to perform other tasks as well as gain increased independence at work.  Beit Chanan was dedicated in memory of Harold (Chanan) Warshawsky, z”l, a longtime friend and supporter of Israel Elwyn.

Lets Connect

We'd love to hear from you! Also, please let us know in advance of your next trip to Israel and we will give you a tour of the Israel Elwyn programs.

You can also contact one of our North American offices: United States: (267) 225-5132 or Canada: (416) 649-1655.

If you would like to make a contribution either online or by check, please see the details below.

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.

Please support the work of Israel Elwyn to provide state-of-the-art services in the areas of childhood early intervention, rehabilitation, assisted living, vocational training and employment services for persons with disabilities by making a gift:

At PayPal:
American Friends of Israel Elwyn
Canadian Friends of Israel Elwyn

By check payable to:
American Friends of Israel Elwyn, PO Box 828284, Philadelphia, PA 19182-8284
Canadian Friends of Israel Elwyn, 74 Tycos Drive, Toronto, Ontario M6B 1V9

To donate in Israel:
Please click this link:
Mail checks: payable to "Israel Elwyn", at 20 Henrietta Szold St., Jerusalem 9650200

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