Roi Schiffman is not your average IDF recruit. Despite the odds Schiffman - who was born with cerebral palsy, a condition that causes partial paralysis - was drafted into the IDF on Thursday. "We decided to raise Roi like any a normal child and expose him to anything and everything that other children his age are exposed to," Schiffman's father said.
For the past two years Schiffman, who is wheelchair-bound, volunteered at the Palmahim Air Force Base. He was helped by Jewish National Fund’s (JNF-USA) "Special in Uniform" program, which aids youths with disabilities integrate into the IDF. "I am an officer on an air force base, and it's the greatest time in my life," Schiffman said regarding his volunteer work.Schiffman excelled during his volunteer experience and caught the attention of former defense minister Avigdor Liberman, who later helped Schiffman obtain an official draft notice from the IDF. "Our dream was to see Roi become a soldier in the Israeli Army just like everybody else," said Schiffman's mother. “Being a part of Special in Uniform was a privilege, and Roi wanted to be drafted into his service from a military induction center, just like everybody else."
With support from his parents, Schiffman has led an otherwise normal life and excelled in school, earning top grades in his classes. He "gave us a lot of power, energy, and motivation," Schiffman's father said as he watched his son enter the IDF induction center.