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My Brother’s/Sister’s Keeper

July 2016


(L-r) Mr. Ms. Ilana Trok (Director of Education, Culture, Social Services and Community Administration, City of Haifa); David Marcu (CEO of Israel Elwyn); Ms. Ilana Ben Laish (Director, Social Services Department, City of Haifa)

In Haifa last month, a conference on "Siblings of Children and Adults with Disability – Unique Challenges and Opportunities" took place in cooperation with Israel Elwyn's Haifa & Northern Israel Branch; the nonprofit organization Kesher (Families in Contact), and the Rehabilitation and Psychology Service Department of the Haifa Municipality.  About 130 professionals and family members of people with disabilities participated in the day, which considered issues relating to the siblingship of individuals with disabilities – including topics such as guilt, obligation, increasing role as parents advance in age, etc.

The conference was opened by Ms. Ilana Trok (Director, Education, Culture, Social Services and Community Administration, City of Haifa), Ms. Ilana Ben Laish (Director, Social Services Department, City of Haifa), Ms. Tammy Krispin (Director, Kesher) and Mr. David Marcu (CEO, Israel Elwyn [IE]).


(L-r) Dr. Tova Band-Winterstein (Department of Gerontology, Haifa University); Ms. Aya Roth (Director, Supported Living Services, Israel Elwyn)

Lecturers included Dr. Tova Band-Winterstein (Department of Gerontology, Haifa University) and Dr. Hila Avieli (School of Criminology, Haifa University and Department of Criminology, Ariel University), who spoke about the sibling without disability as a significant and unique 'other' throughout life.  Ms. Dana Kotick Shezifi (leading partner in "Siblings in the Center" program, Kesher Haifa & Northern Israel Branch) provided insight into the Siblings in the Center program, with emphasis on the young "Look at Me" sibling groups, and Mr. Nir Orbach (social worker, Israel Elwyn's Beresin Occupational Training Center, Haifa & Northern Israel Branch) spoke about the adult sibling groups.    IE professionals also gave lectures:  Ms. Aya Roth (Director, Supported Living Services), Ms. Keren Natan-Rab (Director, Academy for Continuing Education), and Mr. Oren Almog (social worker, Roizman Early Intervention Center, Jerusalem), spoke about sibling groups throughout the 'circle of life.'   Ms. Irit Zakshevsky, who has a daughter with a disability, spoke about "Giggling among My Children" – disability from a mother's point of view.

Scenes from a movie produced as part of the "My Sibling Hero" project were presented.  The movie tells about a trip to India by adult siblings with and without disability, and will soon be screened on Israel's Channel Two.  Representatives of the siblings – Moran Zakshevsky and Enosh Kessel – shared the unique challenges and opportunities that are a routine part of their lives.  Moran also spoke of how meaningful the trip to India was, as it gave her an entirely new perspective on her sister.  Moran's parents, Irit and Itzik, closed the conference by shedding light on their experience and feelings as parents, including their concerns about how Moran and her sister would manage during the trip without them to assist with challenges that might arise.

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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