Community Resources

If you have a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADD/ADHD, Down syndrome or other learning and developmental disabilities, there are plenty of resources in your community to lend support.

Aleh

Aleh provides 24-hour medical care in a safe environment, with several branches in Jerusalem: Bnei Brak, Gedera and the Negev. Aleh believes that every child, regardless of the severity of the physical or cognitive disability, has the right to benefit from the best available care in order to reach his or her fullest potential.

They offer:

  • Medical and paramedical care
  • Special education school and vocational workshops
  • Integrative and social activities
  • Outpatient services

Beit Issie Shapiro

Beit Issie Shapiro helps over 30,000 people every year and is proud to have been named Israel’s most effective nonprofit in 2011 by efficiency monitor Midot, as well as granted “Special Consultative Status” by the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

They offer:

  • Educational and therapeutic services
  • Community programs
  • Professional training for individuals with developmental disabilities

Chimes Israel

Awarded the Midot Seal of Effectiveness (through 2017), Chimes Israel is a nonprofit organization that works to improve the quality of life of individuals with special needs by developing and providing a variety of high-quality professional services. For over 20 years, Chimes Israel has been the leader in providing exceptional support and rehabilitation services to people with intellectual, developmental and mental disabilities, regardless of age, race, nationality or religion.

They offer:

  • Rehabilitative day care
  • Employment support
  • Workshops
  • After-school programs
  • Social clubs
  • Support communities

Friendship Circle Central Jerusalem

With over 79 locations worldwide, the Friendship Circle has cultivated friendships between 5,000 special needs children and close to 11,000 teen volunteers. The Friendship Circle aims to create an environment that nurtures and inspires teens, bringing them meaning, purpose and self-value, as well as a sense of connection to and responsibility for the greater Jewish community. Through its innovative and stimulating programs, the Friendship Circle develops and produces the members and leaders of tomorrow’s Jewish community.

They offer:

  • One-on-one volunteer opportunities and training
  • Family respite
  • Community events
  • Life skills training

Jerusalem Variety Center

Jerusalem Variety Center (JVC) offers children with special needs and their families opportunities in the future through educational and social activities, as well as financial support. JVC believes in the right of every child to have access to tools that help unleash their talents and abilities and to promote their integration into society.

They offer:

  • Child development center
  • Multidisciplinary program for diagnosis and treatment of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Summer camp
  • Technological playground

KESHER

KESHER focuses on families of children with special needs and has branches in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa and Beer-Sheva. Staff members can speak Hebrew, Arabic, English and Russian.

KESHER offers a home and a source of hope for the 330,000 children with special needs in Israel as well as their families.

They offer:

  • Support groups
  • Parental guidance and advocacy
  • Groups for additional family members (grandparents, siblings)
  • Community programs and training

Kfar Rafael

Kfar Rafael is a remedial community located in the south of Israel. In the community, adults with special needs live together with foster families and their children, as well as young volunteers from both Israel and abroad. The community is focused on the well-being and development of the residents (also known as “villagers”), and aims to serve their complex and changing needs while allowing each individual to integrate into a rich and full social environment.

They offer:

  • Workshops (weaving, agriculture, bakery, gardening)
  • Therapies (art, music, massage, speech)
  • Festivals

Kishorit

Kishorit is a home for adults with special needs in the Western Galilee. It’s a supportive community that provides a continuum of residential, social and vocational services. Kishorit members live full, independent lives, and grow old with dignity. More than 95% of Kishorit’s members are in the workforce.

They offer:

  • Lifetime residential
  • Social and vocational services for adults with special needs

LOTEM

LOTEM offers free tours through Nachal HaShofet, near Yokneam, that cover 1.5 km and feature caves, springs, swimming areas, wooden lookouts, and a wide variety of flora and fauna. LOTEM (“Making Nature Accessible”) was established in 1993 by Amos Ziv following a moving encounter with a group of visually impaired teenagers hiking in the Israeli countryside.

They offer:

  • Accessible tours of Jerusalem
  • Outings in nature
  • Accessible nature trails

Shalva

Shalva, the Association for Mentally and Physically Challenged Children in Israel, is dedicated to offering high-quality care for individuals with disabilities, empowering their families and promoting social inclusion. Free-of-charge therapies total over 67,000 hours annually.

They offer:

  • One-on-one training for first-time moms
  • Rehabilitative day care
  • Inclusion early childhood center
  • After-school activity center
  • Overnight and weekend respite
  • Summer camps
  • Graduate social clubs
  • Family support and program therapies

SHEKEL

SHEKEL Community Services for People with Special Needs was founded in 1979 by Joint-Israel, the Ministry of Social Affairs, the City of Jerusalem, other local authorities, educators and professionals to develop services that enable people with disabilities to enjoy a better quality of life and integrate naturally into the community. In 2012, SHEKEL received the Jerusalem Department for People of Special Needs Award for Outstanding Organization Award and the National Service Volunteers’ Award.

They offer:

  • Cultural and leisure programs
  • Community living
  • Work training

Shutaf

Shutaf offers year-round inclusion programs for children and teens with and without special needs. Programs include Pesach and August vacation camps; weekly youth groups; Young Leadership Program for Teens; Life Skills Culinary Workshop for teens; and IsraelForMe, customized travel to Israel for children with disabilities and their families.

They offer:

  • Camps
  • After-school programs
  • Youth leadership

Sulam

Sulam is a recognized nonprofit organization for special education in Israel, which was established in 1981. About 30% of the children who leave the Sulam framework are mainstreamed into the normative school systems. Sulam is the only special needs organization in Israel that provides comprehensive therapeutic frameworks for a wide range of ages and disabilities.

They offer 10 branches in Israel, which care for over 500 children from six months to 17 years.