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Students from Rutgers University Visit Israel Elwyn

January 2016

Since 2011, a delegation of students and staff from Rutgers University’s School of Social Work has each year visited Israel Elwyn (IE) in Jerusalem as part of a two week study tour.  This year, the focus was on IE’s “Mosaic” program, which provides Israeli National Service volunteers who have disabilities with preparation for what life as an adult offers them upon completing their service. National Service is a well-accepted alternative to military service for young adults who are not eligible or not accepted by the IDF, and serves as an important basis for full integration into Israeli society.

Fifteen students from Rutgers – undergraduates and Master’s candidates – were introduced to IE’s programs and toured the Sabbah Occupational Training Center.  The visitors also had an opportunity to experience the Katie Manson Sensory Garden, which is fully accessible for individuals with disabilities and provides a green environment in which to experiment with the senses – sight, hearing, touch and taste/smell.


The highlight of the visit was their meeting with two participants in IE’s Mosaic program. Following a presentation by Sharon Vaserman, Coordinator for Youth Training in IE's Jerusalem & Southern Israel Branch explaining Mosaic’s aims and content, the young men shared their personal stories, why they are doing National Service and their life goals. The Mosaic participants explained the added value that the program offers them, and how important it has been to meet other volunteers with disabilities through the program.

In previous years, visiting groups of Rutgers students have been exposed to IE’s Self-Advocacy Project; the retiree program for adults with disabilities; work with the Jerusalem Rape Crisis Center to educate teens and adults with disabilities about protecting themselves from sexual abuse; and the "Reshet" (Network) program for teenagers with disabilities who study in the regular, non-special education system.

IE’s Mosaic program was established two years ago and is intended to assist young adults with preparing for the day after they complete their service and start a new chapter in their lives, which is generally employment.  This year, approximately 200 young people with disabilities are volunteering in the National Service system with IE’s support.

Israel Elwyn’s partners in the program are the Authority for National-Civic Services; the Ministry of Health; the Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services, Rehabilitation Division; the Opportunity Fund for Civic Service; and Shlomit and Aminadav, two nonprofit organizations providing placement and ongoing services to National Service volunteers throughout Israel.

We've just put our Facebook page up, to provide you with some of the latest news on what's happening at Israel Elwyn throughout Israel.  Please also invite your friends to like our page!  Thanks!



* 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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