New N.Y. State Governor David Paterson visits ALEH Negev
March 20, 2008
Mar 20, 2008
New New York State Governor David Paterson (D-NY), who was sworn in Monday, is no stranger to Israel. Paterson was among a group of senators and state representatives who made a recent visit to Israel, in which they learned about solar energy, toured southern communities, and visited the Negev
branch of ALEH, an international organization that cares for Israel’s disabled.
The December 2007 visit, which was organized by the American Jewish Committee, had come to personally observe and learn from the success of ALEH, and was given an in-depth tour of their Negev campus along with workshops where young people have an opportunity to develop creative skills
and create various arts and crafts. The group hoped to glean insights as to how they could apply these occupational therapy techniques and opportunities
for their special-needs population back home.
Major General (Res.) Doron Almog, who is Chairman of ALEH Negev, told The Post that he spent time speaking with Paterson, who was the leader of the American delegation. He’s a special person, said Almog. He’s clever, has a love for Israel, and cares about people with disabilities. Paterson, who is legally blind and a leading advocate for the visually and physically impaired, was especially moved by the efforts of ALEH Negev.
According to Almog, Paterson said that the climax of the trip was the Delegation’s visit to the organization’s Negev campus, and that they had a
lot to learn from Israel as far as caring for the disabled.
From ALEH Negev, the group was taken to a lookout point over the northern Gaza Strip, where the American politicians received first-hand information
about the situation in Israel’s south. We gave them a lecture on our war against terror, the disengagement, and the situation with Kassams, Almog
said. He [Paterson] expressed his support for the citizens of Sderot and the southern Negev, and our fight against terrorism. While the delegation¹s
time here was limited, they were exposed to many of Israel’s current issues, from the ongoing conflict in and around Gaza, to the great strides Israel
continues to make in the fields of technology and medicine. He [Paterson] came to learn about solar energy, and people with disabilities, said Almog.
And he also gained an understanding of our security situation. In my opinion, he has a warm place for Israel.
This article was reprinted with permission from Abe Selig – Jerusalem Post