Arab-Jewish special needs village offers coexistence model

Kishorit, founded in 1997, is located just north of Karmiel and is home to 150 people with physical, emotional or mental disabilities.

By ABI GOODMAN
August 10, 2009 21:45
1 minute read.
Arab-Jewish special needs village offers coexistence model

peres 248.88 ap. (photo credit: AP [file])

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

The first community for Arab adults with special needs will have the cornerstone of its first building laid Tuesday by President Shimon Peres. Aside from being the first of its kind, the village of Alfanara will be built next to Kishorit, a community for Israelis with special needs. Kishorit, founded in 1997, is located just north of Karmiel and is home to 150 people with physical, emotional or mental disabilities. After a realization that having Arabs and Jews together in the same village wouldn't be cohesive, the Jewish and Arab staff worked together to come up with a new model. The one they settled on was two separate living quarters where the Arab staff, volunteers and members will be able to speak their own language, eat their own food and celebrate their festivals in their own way. Dita Kohl-Roman, the director of resource development and marketing for the project, believes that by creating two separate cultural environments that will be next to and open to each other, Arabs and Jews will be able to live side by side. The project will see the members of both villages work and spend leisure time together. They will work together on the community's goat farm, dog kennels and wooden toy factory, with all proceeds going to help fund the project. Kishorit also receives a government stipend for each member and is being given a grant towards the building of the new village. Kohl-Roman told The Jerusalem Post that the project fit in well in the Galilee. "We are surrounded by a lot of Arab villages so they are all expecting it, they all want it. It gives them hope that a universal need can be fulfilled," she said. Kishorit helps adults with special needs live an integrated, normal life where their limitations are taken into consideration and they are given challenges and responsibilities to maximize their independence. As part of this, members are encouraged, where possible, to take a job on the Kibbutz, and 97 percent of the Kishorit members elect to do so, she said.

Related Content

[illustrative photo]
September 24, 2011
Diabetes may significantly increase risk of dementia

By UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN HEALTH SYSTEM