Woman with Down syndrome to swim across Kinneret for 9th time

25-year-old Ayelet Vilk will complete the 2 km swim in order to raise funds for 'Sadnat Shiluv', a center for people with disabilities in Gush Etzion.

Women begin their swim across the Kinneret in the annual 'Swim4Sadna' event that raises funds for a center for people with disabilities.   (photo credit: LAURA BEN-DAVID)
Women begin their swim across the Kinneret in the annual 'Swim4Sadna' event that raises funds for a center for people with disabilities.
(photo credit: LAURA BEN-DAVID)

A 25-year-old woman with Down syndrome will swim across the Sea of Galilee with her family on Friday as part of the Swim4Sadna fundraising event for children and teens with disabilities.

Swimming the Galilee 

The woman, Ayelet Vilk, will participate in the 2 km swim that is held annually in order to fund specific workshops for "Sadnat Shiluv," a center for people with disabilities in the settlement Gvaot in Gush Etzion that operates a special-ed school, and offers employment opportunities for adults and runs special-needs homes in the community.

The funds raised in this year's swim will go towards a music room. Past swims have financed employment centers, an art center, a petting zoo, a sports center and the opening of a coffee shop.

A source of strength

Vilk works in a nursery for babies with special needs run by Shiluv in Gvaot. She has swum since childhood and this will be the ninth time she participates in the swim.

"Swimming is my source of strength"

Ayelet Vilk

"As soon as she entered the pool I saw a different child, joyful and content," her mother Rachel said.

 Women begin their swim across the Kinneret in the annual 'Swim4Sadna' event that raises funds for a center for people with disabilities.   (credit: LAURA BEN DAVID) Women begin their swim across the Kinneret in the annual 'Swim4Sadna' event that raises funds for a center for people with disabilities. (credit: LAURA BEN DAVID)

This year, Vilk convinced her family to join her on the swim and continues to be a source of inspiration for Shiluv's children, the organization said.