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Israel Elwyn Welcomed by Uruguay Jewish Community

May 2016


(l-r) IE Residents with disabilities pose at a beach on Punta del Este, a beach in Uruguay; horseback riding on a ranch; visiting the Sephardi synagogue in Montevideo

This month, ten residents of Israel Elwyn's Community Residential Services, accompanied by three support providers, traveled to Montevideo, Uruguay, at the invitation of the Kehila, the local Jewish community.  

During their visit, the group visited the community's center in Montevideo several times and joined local service recipients with disabilities who work in the center's occupational training programs. Together they also participated in a community-wide Yom Haatzmaut party.


(l-r) Enia Winter, President of Uruguay Tabaré Vázquez, and David Marcu; David Marcu, the Archbishop of Montevideo, Cardinal Daniel Sturla, and Enia Winter

The residents were joined by Enia Winter, who was born in Uruguay and today lives in the United States, along with David B. Marcu, CEO of Israel Elwyn.  Mrs. Winter has become a dedicated friend of Israel Elwyn, helping develop both fundraising and professional connections in that community. While attending the community evening dedicated to “Yom Hashoah” (Holocaust Remembrance Day), the two met the president of Uruguay, Dr. Tabaré Vázquez, and other officials, as well as Jewish community leaders. 

They also met with professionals from local schools and programs as well as the Archbishop of Montevideo, Cardinal Daniel Sturla, who expressed interest in professional collaboration between local Catholic organizations that support people with disabilities and Israel Elwyn.


(l-r): Dining out in Punta del Este; Tree planting at the Kehila center; Activities together with local service recipients with disabilities

Other highlights of the visit included the following:

  • The IE residents, CEO David Marcu, and Israel Elwyn’s liaison to the community Mrs. Enia Winter, were welcomed to the local Sephardi synagogue and joined the Chief Rabbi Ben-Tzion Spitz and the local service recipients for Friday night dinner.
  • The Israeli group toured Montevideo and Punta del Este, where they took selfies at famous tourist attractions.
  • A prominent local businessman and philanthropist, Paul-Emile Bessade, and his wife Emmanuelle , hosted the group with a Uruguayan barbecue (asado) which was specially prepared to be kosher and provided them the opportunity to do some horseback riding and tour the countryside.
  • IE's staff made a presentation on the subject of community residential services to Kehila professionals during their time in Montevideo.

The IE residents returned home tired but satisfied, all expressing a desire to visit again.  

  • Gabi said, "I really enjoyed myself even though the flights were very long. The activity with the local workers was interesting; I remember that together we planted a tree and made mementos and also ate Friday dinner with them. I met a nice woman but she spoke only Spanish so we couldn't really converse. The hotel was nice."
  • Simona added, "I really enjoyed the trip. I bought lots of socks, for me and my boyfriend. I remember we fed sea lions and I had a good time at the Yom Haatzmaut celebration."
  • "I had a good time on the trip and want to go again," said Hillel. "The food was good and the meat delicious. Our hosts were very welcoming and treated us well. I enjoyed the party, the trip and the sea lions. But there weren't fireworks, which we have in Israel."


* Please note the new phone # for the Canadian Friends of Israel Elwyn: (416) 649-1655 - not as it appears below.

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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