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Volunteers Rewarded in Memory of Maya Koopstein


L-r: Volunteer Naftali Schiff with Aya Roth, Director of Supported Living Services;
Eitan Koopstein and Yung Gu Kim; Korean dancers.

Late in December 2013, residents of Israel Elwyn’s Supported Living Services gathered with their families and IE staff to express gratitude to the volunteers who enrich their lives on a daily basis.  For the fourth year, volunteers received awards in memory of Maya Koopstein, an Israeli soldier who was killed in a terror attack while waiting at a bus stop.

This year, the Koopstein awards recognized four volunteers:  Yedida Melichi, who organizes birthday parties for the residents; Naftali Schiff, who repairs and renovates wheelchairs; Taina Lumina, who came from Finland to provide support to the residents during their activities on site and elsewhere; and Eva Zachs, an interior designer who helped residents decorate their apartment.

Eitan Koopstein, Maya’s father, presented the awards and spoke about the volunteers, their work and spirit, and the effect they have on the lives of IE’s residents.  This was demonstrated in a short film prepared by IE staff that focused on the work of these volunteers.

Over the years, IE’s Supported Living Services have benefitted from the service of hundreds of volunteers from Israel and the world over, including many South Koreans.  This special relationship was highlighted by a performance of karate and Korean dance in traditional costumes by a group of South Korean volunteers in Israel.  Yung Gu Kim, who coordinates the South Korean volunteers, spoke about the volunteers’ motivation.  He also read a poem written by a South Korean teenager born with cerebral palsy to an extremely poor family that couldn’t afford therapies for their daughter.  The poem emphasizes that the world should look at what people with disabilities are capable of doing and not what they are not able to do.

Volunteers at Israel Elwyn may come once, periodically return, or stay for months at a time.  Whatever their investment, all do their utmost to create a special relationship with the residents and staff in daily life and on special occasions – and say they receive back much more than they give.

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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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