New social center to be established in Israel

Welfare and Social Services Minister Isaac Herzog announced Sunday that he had reached an agreement with the Burton Blatt Institute (BBI) of Syracuse University to open up a branch of the prestigious research center in Israel. BBI is one of the leading research institutes in the world, focusing on ways to advance the civic, economic and social participation of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society. Professor Peter Blanck, BBI's chairman, who met with Herzog on Sunday, is in Israel this week to participate in the Welfare and Social Service Ministry's fifth annual conference on people with disabilities and their role in the community, to be held Monday and Tuesday in Haifa's Congress Center. "Such an agreement will pave the way for creative policy and broadening of services for people with severe mental and physical disabilities, based on tangible research in the subject," Herzog said Sunday.