Riding to Integration

Riding to Integration

Since the inauguration of the Jerusalem Light Rail in 2011, over 100,000 passengers ride every day, traveling the line some 13.8 kilometers across Jerusalem.

But last month, some very special passengers travelled even further – almost 110 kilometers – just so they could ride on the light rail!

At the invitation of Yehuda Shoshani, CEO of CityPass, a group of disabled youngsters from the ALEH Negev-Nahalat Eran Rehabilitation Village got to ride the light rail – for free!

ALEH residents Tal, Tzvika, Yafit, and their friends came all the way to Jerusalem and took a ride on the train as part of their tour of the city.

It was an experience to remember.  The group of 10 residents, accompanied by National Service girls who serve in the village and steady volunteers from the NegevNuclear Research Center, rode the train for the first time in their lives.  Starting at Ammunition Hill, they took the ride through Jerusalem’s central bus station and the Machaneh Yehuda open market, getting off in the center of town.

As they strolled down the busy streets, the residents enjoyed the sights and sounds of town shopping and eateries.  They joined the scene with a restaurant lunch at The Coffee Bean.

No Jerusalem visit would be complete without a trip to the Kotel.  To top off their experience, the wonderful National Service girls took the residents back on the train and on to the Western Wall, where they helped each resident place a written prayer in the holy stones.

Special children, special volunteers, special moments.  Thank you, CitiPass and Yehuda Shoshani, for giving ALEH’s children a ticket to ride, for providing them with a normative experience just like their non-disabled peers, and for making this memorable trip a reality!

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