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"New" Health Minister Yaakov Litzman Visits Severely Disabled Children At ALEH Jerusalem
BALTIMORE JEWISH LIFE
In his first act as official Health Minister of Israel, Member of Knesset Yaakov Litzman visited the Jerusalem facility of ALEH (www.aleh.org), Israel’s largest network of facilities for children with severe physical and cognitive disabilities. Health Minister Litzman, who has taken great interest in Israel’s disabled population in recent days, stopped by ALEH to tour the facility and discuss how the country should care for its most vulnerable citizens.
Shlomit Grayevsky, the founding director of ALEH Jerusalem, led the private tour for the Health Minister, pointing out the facility’s speciallydesigned living quarters and stateoftheart rehabilitation rooms.
“Thanks to ALEH’s professional staff and innovative programming, severely disabled children of all ages across Israel are able to live much like their nondisabled peers, are accepted by a wider segment of the population, and develop far beyond the boundaries of their initial prognoses,” Grayevsky explained to MK Litzman during the tour of ALEH Jerusalem.
“We at ALEH believe that every person, no matter their level of disability, has a natural right to dignity, the highest quality of life and to reach their fullest potentials in a loving and supportive community. On a daily basis, this Jerusalem facility helps severely disabled children advance, grow, and live a happy, dignified, and meaningful life.”
Throughout the tour, Health Minister Litzman made it clear that he was very impressed with the attention given to each child by ALEH’s dedicated staff and volunteers as well as the pioneering rehabilitative techniques and technology developed by the organization to aid and care for Israel’s disabled population.
“I was amazed by the devoted care and dedication of management by the ALEH employees for these special children,” commented Litzman following the tour. “In this week’s Parsha (Ki Teitzei), we talk about ‘Hashavat Avedah,’ returning that which is lost. Every person in Israel is valuable, and it’s important that they are all taken care of appropriately. In the past, there was no home for these children to grow up in. But ALEH has built a warm home for them, ensuring that they will never be lost or disregarded.”
ALEH was founded in 1982 by a group of Israeli parents who were determined to give their severely disabled children the best available care and the opportunity to develop to their fullest potentials. Three decades later,
ALEH has become Israel’s largest network of residential care facilities for children with severe physical and cognitive disabilities.
ALEH’s four residential facilities, located in Jerusalem, Bnei Brak, Gedera and the Negev, provide over 650 children and young adults with all the specialized services they need to live a quality life: residential living, medical care, rehabilitative and therapeutic treatment, special education, vocational training opportunities and social and cultural activities. In addition, ALEH provides thousands of outpatient sessions to children with milder disabilities who are able to live at home.
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