The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC-Israel) announced this
week that it will expand its Israel Unlimited project, which focuses on the
planning and development of services for the advancement and integration of
people with disabilities in the community, after an additional NIS 50 million
was added to the program.
Israel Unlimited, which was established in 2009
with core funding of NIS 24m., consists of a partnership with the Ruderman
Family Foundation and the government, specifically the Welfare and Social
Service, Health and Finance ministries and the National Insurance
The project has developed services including independent
living centers and community support programs, as well as health programs for
different kinds of disabilities.
It also helps to ensure that people are
making full use of the rights available to the disabled in Israel.
NIS 50m. expansion of the partnership was made possible after the Ruderman
Family Foundation decided to grant another NIS 15m. to it. The other partners
soon followed suit and provided the remainder of the amount.
came after a report by the Brookdale Institute released last month revealed that
over a million adults with disabilities live in Israel and the growth rate of
this population is three times higher than that of the rest of the population.
In addition, most of the people with disabilities live independently in the
community rather than in institutions.
“We want Israel to be a leader in
terms of inclusion of people with disabilities in society,” said Jay Ruderman,
the president of the Ruderman Family Foundation, in a statement.
decision to advance this project is based on the success of our work in
promoting people with disabilities as people with abilities,” he
JDC-Israel stated that the expansion of the partnership will
enable the development of additional services for people with disabilities such
as their advancement in the workforce and the integration of young people with
disabilities in youth centers across the country.
Welfare and Social
Services Minister Moshe Kahlon addressed the decision and said he applauds the
partnership as it “promotes the status of people with disabilities and develops
services to help them integrate into society.”
Avital Sandler-Loeff, the
head of Israel Unlimited, said in a statement last month that “most of the
resources invested today are institutional solutions, but there is a need to
produce systems of independent housing in the community.”
“There needs to
be a new generation of services for people with disabilities who want to be
involved in society and contribute to it,” she continued.
important that people with disabilities know that there are systems that can
help them, such as supportive communities which work to advance their