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Israel Elwyn’s Mosaic Helps Volunteers with Disabilities to Achieve their Goals

March 2016


L-r: Rafi Eliav at work; Dudu Deal being interviewed

Israel Elwyn’s (IE) “Mosaic” program provides Israeli Army and National Service volunteers who have disabilities with supports that help them make their service a success, as well as assisting them to prepare for what life as an adult offers upon military/civic service completion.  Since being established two years ago, the program's workshops have helped hundreds of these volunteers acquire soft and hard skills vital to their success in the service and inclusion in the competitive job market along with exposure to post service opportunities.  (National Service is a well-accepted alternative to military service for young adults who are not eligible or not accepted by the IDF and, like the Army, serves as an important basis for full integration into Israeli society.)

Yaron Samimi, IE Director – Youth and Young Adults Programs, with Rafi in IDF uniform

Rafi (Rufat) Eliav, from Be'er Sheba, is currently performing his military service at the Natan Army Base in Be'er Sheba.  Rafi was in IE's Reshet program (see description below) for three years and then chose to serve in the IDF, which initially did not want to accept him.  He persisted and, with Israel Elwyn’s assistance, succeeded in making his dream of full and regular Army service come true. IE staff have continued to work with Rafi during his service in order to follow up on his progress. Rafi is currently in his second year and will complete his service in May 2017.  When the time comes, IE will work with Rafi to help him plan his next steps.

Yaron with Dudu in Fire Services uniform

Dudu Deal is also from Be'er Sheba, and performed the first year of his National Service with the Be'er Sheba Fire Department.  Dudu was in IE's Reshet program for three years and then chose to volunteer for National Service.  Israel Elwyn staff continued to work with Dudu in order to follow up on his progress as part of the Fire Brigade, and now at Soroka University Medical Center in Be'er Sheba for his second year of service, which will end in August 2016.  Dudu is already considering what comes afterwards, together with IE staff.

IE’s Mosaic program was established two years ago.  Staff maintain ongoing contact with the volunteers through group activities as well as individual interaction.  When needed, IE counselors are in touch with commanding officers and employers to guide them and help find solutions to any problems that may arise. This year approximately 200 young volunteers with disabilities are serving with IE’s support.  As more teenagers learn that their dreams of serving the country can become a reality, the number is growing; in the next year we expect to work with 500 Army and National Service volunteers.

IE’s Reshet ("Network") program is for teenagers with physical and sensory disabilities and diminished cognitive skills who are students in the regular, non-special education system.  This extracurricular program aims to prepare 16-to-18 year olds for independence while providing them with a broad range of experiences and extensive exposure to opportunities in the post high school world – military or national service, employment, and continuing education, as well as meaningful community engagement.  Reshet’s activities provide the participants with the tools to make knowledgeable choices about their future.  In the last year, 95% of Reshet participants chose to volunteer for National Service or the Army following their graduation from high school.

Israel Elwyn’s partners in Mosaic 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 that provide placement and ongoing services to all National Service volunteers (with and without disabilities) throughout Israel .

Israel Elwyn’s partners in Reshet are the National Insurance Institute, Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services, Ministry of Education, and Ashalim-JDC Israel.

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* 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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