Eric Abulafia didn’t make it to move to Israel and live beside his sister, Sylvie Rozenbaum, who had made aliyah years ago. Not because Rozenbaum didn’t wish to have her little brother with his special needs at her side, but for several reasons, it was impossible – among them, the bureaucratic issues regarding the aliyah services and rights for persons with special needs and handicaps. Eric died in 2014, but just a few months later, Rozenbaum saw a movie that was going to change her life. “My hero, my Brother,” an award-winning documentary made by Yonatan Nir in 2016, told the story of brothers and sisters of handicapped young adults, who initiated a track in the Himalayas with their handicapped siblings. “For the first time, I saw something that echoed my own feelings” recalls Rozenbaum: “a wonderful film that put me, a sister to a handicapped brother, in the right place – I was there, I had the right to be part of Eric’s life and struggle.” Rozenbaum was so moved by the film, that she decided to translate it into French, her mother tongue, so that French olim or Jews in France who were considering aliyah with special needs children could see it and understand more of the reality regarding this issue in Israel. The film was also presented at several documentary festivals abroad, winning the Prize of the Public in the Entr’2 Marches (Between two steps) category at the Cannes Festival. What was Rozenbaum’s personal wish to commemorate her late brother, became a “must” for families struggling with these situations. She presented the film in the director’s name at several European festivals, where “My Hero” was always acclaimed, raising intense emotions. In the film, one of the young people with special needs (Down syndrome) accompanied by his siblings, lives in one of the most interesting venues existing in the country: “Gva’ot,” a village located in Gush Etzion, which provides accommodations and adapted programs for people with these special needs. As it turned out, parents of two such young adults who live in Gva’ot established contact with Rozenbaum and began, along with others, a founding group aiming to bring attention through the film to the situation of people with special needs who wish to make aliyah with their families or on their own. People with special needs and challenges are not prevented from making aliyah, but the state stipulates a few rules before they can become an Israeli citizen, with all the rights and services that are given by the government. One of the first requirements is that the family prove their intention to remain in the country with their special needs family member, following many cases where these people were brought here and abandoned to the country’s responsibility. On the ground, it means that such a family will have to cover the related cost for their first six months in Israel, and only after that will the government cover the expenses and provide solutions. What can be considered a reasonable request by the state often becomes an enormous obstacle for the aliyah project of the family, which will have to face at least six months without any coverage for the several institutions that provide solutions for these people. Adding that to the basic problems of moving from one country to another, with a different language and a different mentality, this too often becomes the reason for canceling aliyah. Olim associations are now part of this project, trying to find solutions or provide basic help to such families, in order to ease their way to make aliyah. Another special screening at the Jerusalem Cinematheque earlier this week was just another opportunity to draw attention to the public and the authorities, in this case the Jerusalem Municipality, of the urgent need to provide solutions.