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IE Helps Young Volunteers Transition to Independence

July 2015

Group photo with Knesset members

One year ago, Israel Elwyn (IE) was asked by the National-Civic Service Administration to operate a professional support program for other nonprofits providing services to National-Civic volunteers with disabilities.  The program, called “Mosaic,” is intended to assist young adults with preparing for the day after they complete their National Service and start a new chapter in their lives:  employment.

During the first year of operation, Mosaic has worked with three key placement organizations:  Aminadav, Bat Ami and Shlomit, utilizing IE’s expertise, resources and geographical reach.  Following is a summary of Mosaic’s main events during the first year of operation.


L-r: Mosaic Program group arrives at Knesset; the official logo for the Mosaic program; IE-supported employees in panel with IE staff 

At the Knesset: Focusing on Employment and Active Citizenship

Mosaic took 130 National Service volunteers to the Knesset, Israel's parliament, in Jerusalem.  After a guided tour of the building, these young people met with three Knesset employees with disabilities who receive support services from IE and who described their daily routine, including how they deal with their disability.  Nadav Halperin, who has worked at the Knesset for many years, said, “I have had to fight a lot in my life, and my last struggle was to be employed here at the Knesset.  IE helped make my dream come true.  Young people should know that no one expects any less of me than of other employees; I am very devoted to my work and feel that I am just like everyone else here.”  The volunteers then met with three members of the Knesset:  Itzik Shmuli (from the Zionist Camp party), Karin Elharar (Yesh Atid party) and Motti Yogev (The Jewish Home party).  They recounted their personal history and spoke about their daily routine.  During a Q&A session, MK Elharar, who uses a wheelchair, was asked if she had volunteered for National Service.  She replied that, “At that time, people like me, with disabilities, couldn’t serve.  I’m glad that today the country is much better prepared to include youngsters with disabilities and enables them to perform meaningful service, like everybody else.”  At the end of the day the volunteers summed up the day by saying it had not only been enjoyable, but also very significant in giving them a picture of what is done in Israel’s legislature and what people with disabilities can accomplish.

Mosaic Program tour of Knesset

Preparing to Enter the Job Market

Israel Elwyn organized five “Employment Days” for approximately 300 National Service volunteers who receive services from Bat Ami, Aminadav and Shlomit.  One Employment Day took place at Amdocs Israel in Sderot (a major software services company) and the others were hosted by several hotels in the Dan and Fattal hotel chains.  These settings exposed participants to a range of jobs that can be found in the job market, in various fields of enterprise.  At the hotels, participants saw an employee orientation film and heard from human resources managers about their own work experiences and particularly subjects such as job interviews and employer expectations, among others.  A guided tour allowed them to see the hotels’ departments and to speak with employees with disabilities receiving the services of IE’s Supported Employment program.  The volunteers said they were particularly inspired by the film and tour, and looked forward to when they, too, would join the job market.

During the second portion of each of the Employment Days, participants heard from IE professionals discussing employment and career development, followed by a lecture by the Mosaic program director on entering the job market, including writing a resume, searching for a job, and job interviews.  The days concluded with a networking game, the object of which was to bring the volunteers face to face with adults and conduct a conversation in which they presented themselves (name, current occupation, career and other aspirations, etc.).  The winners, who successfully presented themselves to the greatest number of conversational partners, were awarded certificates noting their accomplishments.

Haim, a 20-year old National Service volunteer who attended, said, “Today was very interesting and led me to understand some important things about employment.  Now I will begin my search for a job that suits me, and hope to succeed.”


Israel Elwyn thanks its primary partners in the Mosaic program:  the National-Civic Service Administration, Opportunity Fund to Advance Civic Service, Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services (Rehabilitation Division, Division for the Person with Autism, Volunteer Unit, Division for the Person with Intellectual Disability), and Ministry of Education, as well as Aminadav, Bat Ami and Shlomit.  Our thanks also to the organizations that contributed to the success of the Employment Days:  the Dan Hotels chain, the Fattal Hotels chain, Amdocs Israel, the Ramat Aviv Shopping Mall management and McDonald’s Israel.

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.

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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.

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