Shalva

Address: 315 5th Avenue 6th Floor

New York, NY 10016 USA

Phone: 212-725-0900

Website: www.shalva.org

About Shalva:

Shalva, the Israel Association for the Care and Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities is dedicated to providing transformative care for individuals with disabilities, empowering their families and promoting social inclusion.

Shalva provides an all-encompassing range of services for thousands of people with disabilities from infancy to adulthood and their families. Shalva’s comprehensive life-cycle programming provide leading-edge therapies, inclusive educational frameworks, social and recreational activities, employment training, and independent living, as well as respite and family support.

The Shalva National Center’s advanced programs and facilities in Jerusalem create new frontiers in disability rehabilitation, research, and inclusion; defining new standards in the field and impacting the world beyond those in Shalva’s direct care.

Shalva gives equal access and opportunity to all participants regardless of religion, ethnic background, or financial capability.

Believing that the care of children with disabilities should not be left to the family alone, Shalva’s founders Malki and Kalman Samuels created a therapeutic environment in which children with disabilities could grow and thrive. This approach was based on the Samuels’ own experience with raising their son Yossi who was left blind, deaf and acutely hyperactive as the result of a faulty vaccination. Yossi’s disabilities took their toll on his family. Providing him with constant loving care, they became exhausted and isolated. Many professionals and well-intentioned friends suggested placing Yossi in an institution. But Malki refused and vowed to God that if He helped Yossi, she would dedicate herself to helping other children with disabilities and their families.

When Yossi was eight, Shoshana Weinstock, a deaf special education teacher penetrated Yossi’s wall of silence via Hebrew fingerspelling. She taught Yossi his first word, “shulchan” – Hebrew for table – thus creating a relationship analogous to that of Annie Sullivan and Helen Keller. Malki recalled her promise and with Kalman’s help, Shalva was founded in 1990.

What began as an afternoon program for eight children in a local apartment has grown into a national center serving thousands of people with disabilities from infancy to adulthood from the entire spectrum of Israeli society.

Over the course of twenty-eight years, Shalva developed transformative programs to fill needs that were previously neglected. The success of these programs has received government and cultural recognition, inspiring grassroots changes in public policy and social inclusion.

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