There are 330,000 children with disabilities in Israel. For their families, the severe personal, social and emotional upheaval these challenges bring with them will end up affecting every aspect of their lives, from their ability to participate fully in the workforce to their personal relationships. That such a large group of Israelis—about a million people—still lacks the status, rights and public regard they deserve is what drives our organization. We provide solutions in all spheres of life for the families of children and adults up to the age of 35 contending with all types of disabilities from every conceivable background—Jewish, Arab, religious, secular, new immigrant—and region of the country.
We envision a society where special-needs families are strong and empowered, living with respect and dignity, with equal access to education, health, employment and well-being. live with respect and dignity, strong and empowered. A society that enables equal access to education, health, employment and well-being
Social change ‘from the bottom-up:’ We believe that change needs to come from Special Families themselves. Since we first launched it in 2010, our network of Special Parents (“Parents Building Community”) continues to grow and today operates in more than 40 communities nationwide. Based on a community model we developed for work at the local level, the program works to establish a special leadership group of parents in targeted localities that will work in cooperation with local government to improve access to services and resources for special children and their families in the community. This model both serves as a platform for personal and community empowerment, enabling Special Parents to discover and bring their voices into the public arena while enabling them to work alongside local decision-makers to transform their local environments into public spaces that take their needs into account.
Informing responsible policy: We routinely participate in a wide variety of Knesset Committees and forums established to advance the needs of special families in Israel in areas ranging from Special Education to transportation services to paramedical treatments and virtually everything in between. Kesher’s recognized expertise in the field has garnered us a regular place at the decision-making table, ensuring that the families who need us are represented at the highest echelons of policy-making in Israel.
Individual Assistance for Special Families: Numerous studies have shown that information is a critical tool for parents coping with the special needs of their children. Today many Israeli Special Families find themselves in a constant struggle against government bureaucracies for information on the rights, services, and treatments their children deserve. It is for this reason that we established our Information and Rights Center, which provides individualized advisory services to thousands of special families each year, free of charge. Managed by an expert legal team along with 25 regular volunteers, the Center is able to call upon a rich and varied store of professional expertise in fields ranging from education to social welfare and much, much more. Volunteer training and enrichment are an ongoing part of our work to ensure the highest standard of professionalism for this service.
Group assistance for special families: We hold dozens of support and training workshops for Special Parents throughout the country on an ongoing basis– from assistance to Special Parents looking to reenter the workforce to spiritual guidance courses, mother-to-mother workshops and a variety of specialized programs for other Special Family members—among them special siblings and grandparents. We have developed workshops for parents and professionals alike (including a dialogue model for these two groups to interact), and conduct lectures, courses and training for public and private sector partners.
For more information, feel free to contact:
+972 (0)52 600 6796
+972 (0)54 464 6351