The Colel Chabad Beis Finger Rehabilitation Center.
(photo credit: ELIANA SCHREIBER)
Debby and Zohar Elnatan had been searching for eight years for an apartment for their son, Rotem.
Rotem, 23, has cerebral palsy, and likes to DJ in his spare time. So when they found out about the new Beis Finger Rehabilitation Center in Jerusalem, it was a perfect fit.
After going to a day program, Rotem Elnatan comes home to a welcoming community of 20 staff and eight other residents, who he considers his family.
“I think we’re really lucky,” said his father, Zohar. “I can trust them.”
The center, which celebrated its opening ceremony on Sunday, was built and is operated by Colel Chabad, the longest-running social services provider in Israel since 1788, and features a brand new state of the art music therapy room.
Mickey Moore, co-founder and CEO of A-Muse, the start-up that built the music therapy room, said the room is designed so residents with disabilities can make music and have fun while simultaneously doing therapy.
The room is comprised of six stations with different types of sensing technologies that detect movement. Censors and lights help residents make music by even the slightest movement of their eyes or fingers.
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“What you see here is just the beginning,” Moore said, adding that he hopes to work with universities and hospitals to continue expanding the platform.
Risa Klyne, a London native, came to visit the center for the first time and was very impressed by the amenities.
Klyne said she’s continually overwhelmed by the charity work Colel Chabad does, and how they do their work in a way that is respectful to the people on the receiving end.
“They’ve taken it to a totally different level,” she said.
The Beis Finger Center also features a gym, gardening and arts rooms for residents — which all double as providing therapeutic activities.
The complex currently hosts nine residents, but has space for 35 tenants in total. The second floor also features five apartment-style couple’s rooms.
This is the second rehabilitation center Colel Chabad has built, similar to the first model at the Grabski Rehabilitation Center in the northern city of Migdal Ha’emek.
Gideon Shalom, the deputy director general and director of the Administration for Disabilities in the Ministry of Welfare, came to speak to residents and visitors at the opening ceremony of the center.
The Ministry of Welfare has $1 billion in its budget for these types of projects, Shalom said, and the ministry provides NIS 15,000 per month to help cover costs for residents.
He said he hopes the ministry will continue to fund more places like the Beis Finger Center.
Debby Elnatan was especially grateful, though, to the community that the rehabilitation center has brought to her son.
“There is a lot of love,” she said.
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