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Dreams Come True


L-R: IE's new Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Retiree Center; Meir.

Meir’s Dream

About fifteen years ago, sixty-two year old Meir had a dream:  to retire and spend his days at a retiree center where he could fill the hours of each weekday with friends, therapies and recreational activities.  He had worked for many years at Israel Elwyn’s Sabbah Center - Occupational Training Center (OTC), had begun to find the noise of the busy workplace disturbing and became more exhausted at the end of each workday.  At the time, retiree centers specifically tailored to seniors with disabilities did not exist, and few community-based senior centers invited seniors with disabilities to join their activities.

Self-Advocacy Pays Off

Meir approached his employment counselor at the OTC in Jerusalem with his request.  Israel Elwyn considered the innovative idea and within a couple of years opened IE’s Retiree Program for seniors about to retire from their working lives.  Meir and his colleagues were pleased to come to the Sabbah Center to enjoy each other’s company, to receive therapies that focus on maintaining existing levels of functioning (physical, emotional and intellectual) and to participate in the recreational activities of their choice.

A Place of One’s Own

Over the years, the room in which the program operated became more crowded with the growing number of participants and increased usage of wheelchairs and walkers.  Israel Elwyn’s leaders dreamed of a dedicated building for the Retiree Program, providing a quieter environment and more spacious quarters where these deserving individuals could continue to participate in and benefit from the activities they required and enjoyed. Having expanded the Retiree Program to other areas of Israel, IE also knew that there were many more retirees with disabilities who wanted to join the program in Jerusalem. They also began to learn of seniors who wanted to cut back on their working hours but didn’t want to be isolated in their homes.

Challenge Grant Leverages Major Financial Support

Several years ago, the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation provided a very generous challenge which was joined by benefactors from overseas:  the Samuel Sebba Charitable Trust, the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, the Jewish Federation of Broward County – Jewish Community Foundation, the American Friends of Israel Elwyn, Mrs. Evelyn Solomon, and others.  In Israel, the National Insurance Institute – Fund for Development of Services for People with Disabilities, the Shalem Fund, and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services all played an important role, and the Municipality of Jerusalem provided the land on which to build the new Retiree Center.

Visiting their New “Digs”

During the construction period, the retirees enjoyed visiting the construction site and discussing how the new facility would affect their lives while eagerly awaiting its completion.  On November 24, the unique Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Retiree Center opened its doors to the participants of IE’s Retiree Program.  They arrived eager to explore the rooms, the new amenities and the accessible gardens.  In the ensuing days, they have settled in and are now familiar with the building’s layout.  Meir and his fellow retirees are enjoying the various activity rooms, lounge areas and not least of all – the quiet and the lack of hustle and bustle around them. 

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.

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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