The Quittman Center at Israel Elywn
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Description of Project
The Quittman Center, one of the residential facilities on the Israel Elwyn Jerusalem campus, is home to physically and mentally challenged adults who receive round-the-clock support in their daily functioning.
These residents ages 32 to 67 are divided among three apartments according to their functioning level. 90% are Israeli-born, while the other 10% come from Russia, the U.S. and Iran. They all take part in activities at the Quittman Center aimed to enrich their lives. Training to become selfsufficient and be “mainstreamed” into the community to participate in Israeli society is a highlight for these residents. They experience the wonders of the sensory garden, an artfully landscaped area with different recreational sections and equipment to help understand senses, and the popular Snoezelen Room, a unique calming environment that uses color, light, furnishings and sound techniques to reduce stress. All of these pursuits offer the best possibilities for learning and personal development.
Computers are an important part of life, and a new project will allow the residents to enjoy them. Adapted computers can enhance communication with family and friends, provide opportunities for games or other leisure activities, and enable personal expression.
At the Quittman Center, residents are enthusiastically encouraged to maximize their potential.
For nearly fifty years, Bnai Zion members have opened their hearts to Israel’s mentally challenged. Additional waves of immigrants have brought with them more people requiring special services, and the need for special services has been on the rise over the past decade. The responsibility is too great for Israel to carry on alone.
Israel Elwyn serves more than 1,400 children and adults with special needs, with the goal of helping them lead more independent lives. Offering therapies, treatment, residences and assistance, Israel Elwyn encourages and enables Israelis with special needs to progress to the height of their ability. It provides vocational training for adults with developmental disabilities to help them become self-sufficient and maximize their integration into the mainstream community. The Zvi Quittman Residential Center is a group home on the Jerusalem campus of Israel Elwyn and is named for the vice president emeritus of Bnai Zion, who devoted his entire life to humanitarian projects in Israel.
Under the auspices of the Israeli ministry of welfare, an extensive program of activities is available for the residents, who participate in music and art workshops, physical activities and therapy. They celebrate all of the Jewish holidays and participate in enriching field trips.
As a result of superb training and support, some of the residents have been able to move to supervised group homes within the community. Others who need 24-hour care remain in the facility.
THE IMPACT OF BNAI ZION
The government of Israel and families do their utmost to provide quality care residents, but the costs associated with this effort require assistance from outside sources. The care centers must be continually updated and expanded to ensure the best possible facilities and the budget for staff must be increased to provide unparalleled treatment and therapy. Funds are also needed to continue the vital therapies for residents and to provide new equipment for their training.
The Zvi Quittman Residential Center was built thanks to Bnai Zion, and it comprises a number of apartments housing ten residents each, allowing residents to enjoy the privacy and opportunities afforded by this “less institutional”lifestyle. Each unit has four bedrooms and includes a large living room, fully-equipped modern kitchen and dining area. Thanks to Bnai Zion, plans to expand the housing capacity can be realized to benefit the quality of life for all residents of the center.
PLANS FOR THE FUTURE
Funds are needed to continue and expand the various important therapies for residents that enable their integration into the mainstream community and ability to avail themselves of vocational opportunities. There is always a need to provide new equipment for their training. On a broader scale, the construction of new residential buildings will allow more residents privacy and autonomy.