People with disabilities are so often overlooked or not given the proper resources to allow them to thrive, which is why Bnai Zion has taken on the mission of building a society in which people with disabilities have equal rights and opportunities. Bnai Zion raised money to construct a community center that provides a cultural, recreational, and employment venue for people with disabilities to help them to reach their fullest potential.
The cultural center’s spacious central hall has room for residents to celebrate holidays and other festive occasions, as well as for cultural events, including performances, concerts, movies, lectures, and professional training. The center enables residents to expand their exposure to and contact with the community by providing suitable facilities for encouraging inclusive activities.
The center’s smaller, more intimate rooms provide residents with a place to hold meetings and participate in activities that give them enjoyment, promote self-expression, and encourage the development of social and life skills. One room is outfitted as a kitchen to enable residents to learn how to cook, both for their own pleasure and to train for employment in the community. Another room, in addition to being used as a crafts workshop, serves as a warm and intimate space for residents to spend time with their families and friends. When not in use by residents, these spaces are used for conferences, lectures, and meetings.
The cultural center is fully accessible to all of the residents, including the 220 adults with intellectual and other disabilities requiring varying levels of care who currently live in Israel Elwyn’s Supported Living Services complex.
Israel Elwyn’s Supported Living Services complex in Jerusalem is home to 220 adults with disabilities. Founded in 1984, Israel Elwyn now serves more than 3,000 children and adults with disabilities living throughout Israel each day, with the goal of providing them with the tools to enable them to make decisions about their own lives and gain more independence in order to live and work in the community.
Bnai Zion has worked with Israel Elwyn Supported Living Services to build lasting improvements in the lives of its residents. The Zvi Quittman Supported Living Center was built thanks to Bnai Zion, in honor of Bnai Zion’s former Executive Vice President, Herman Quittman. It is comprised of a number of apartments housing ten residents each, allowing residents to enjoy the privacy and opportunities afforded by a “less institutional” lifestyle. This departure from the previous dormitory-style of residence has greatly improved the quality of life of the residents, and has been instrumental in providing them with greater privacy and fostering their independence.
Fulfilling Our Mission
Taking care of those who cannot fully take care of themselves is an important responsibility in a unified and inclusive society. Building a cultural center where those who have disabilities can learn, find new opportunities, and make social connections enhances the quality of life of all the residents in Supported Living Services and helps make Bnai Zion’s dream of an inclusive society a reality.