The Shalem Foundation was established in 1983 by the Federation of Local Authorities in cooperation with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services. The foundation works to develop comprehensive services and resources for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities throughout the country.

The Vision of the Shalem Foundation
"People with developmental intellectual disabilities have the basic right to live normal lives within their natural surroundings, to realize their hidden potential, and to be socially, culturally, and occupationally integrated into the community as much as possible, according to their abilities, desires, and needs."
The Shalem Foundation has played a key role in impacting the lives of people with disabilities and their families. The foundation’s multifaceted team continuously strives to develop innovative programs to improve the quality of life of people with disabilities and include them in all aspects of society. The Shalem Foundation understands the complex needs of these individuals and those around them. As these needs change throughout the course of their lives, The Shalem Foundation aims to help every step of the way.
The Shalem Foundation Assists in the Following Areas:
• Funding of physical development of community facilities
• Funding and support of innovative social services and programs for people with developmental disabilities 
• Funding and development of advanced educational and tutoring programs for professionals
• Funding and assistance with artistic productions by people with intellectual and developmental disabilities
• Creation and support of activities that promote and change way of thinking and attitudes towards people with intellectual and developmental disabilities
• Funding of research, professional knowledge development and models, training and conferences
The Shalem Foundation provides funding for approximately 200 projects and initiatives throughout Israel each year. The organization works in full cooperation with local councils, representatives of the Ministry of Social Affairs & Social Services and other nonprofit organizations throughout Israel.
The Shalem Foundation encourages new ideas and activities in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities and offers annual awards to heads of regional councils, public figures and volunteers. The Foundation also awards prizes for excellence to regional councils and individuals with intellectual disabilities who have contributed to society or to unique projects.

The Shalem Foundation has made a number of strategic goals for the years 2015-2020. They include:
1. Changing perceptions and inclusion of people with disabilities in all aspects of daily life. This includes development of a unique enterprise that will offer a glimpse into the world of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The center will be the first of its kind in the world and will enable partnership with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
2. Capacity building, training, applied research, knowledge and skill development for professional workers and caretakers of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 
3. An incubator for change: the Shalem foundation invites all initiatives which promote the inclusion of people with disabilities in society as well as bettering their quality of life.
The Shalem Foundation is dedicated to utilizing the potential of every person with intellectual disabilities in order to provide them with the best possible quality of life as well as educating society as a whole to be more inclusive and caring. 
The Shalem Fund: Programs in the Arab Sector in Israel    

The Shalem Fund recently celebrated 30 years of social impact. As part of our efforts to better ourselves and refocus our efforts, we began to analyze our goals for the future using a process called Strategic Pivot Thinking (SPT). We have borrowed the term “pivot” from the business sector to represent the crucial turns and tipping points we hope to take in order to create further impact while using our foundation's resources.
The Shalem Fund reached several strategic conclusions during this process, including the importance of partnering with other public and philanthropic foundations.
The Shalem Fund also defined three specific areas of focus for partnership and increased joint impact:
1. Arab society: The Shalem Fund has developed several programs in this area, including ground-breaking research opportunities.
2. Pivoting employment: The Shalem Fund is expanding its intensive research on employment and employment centers.
3. An incubator for change: The Shalem Fund is open to all projects that increase the inclusion of people with disabilities in society and improve their quality of life.

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Meet adorable Tal from Herzelia   Just like everyone else: interviews with our most precious partners  

Meet adorable Tal from Herzelia, she loves music, basketball, and painting – and to eat pizza and MacDonald's, although she knows it's not healthy…


She has a boyfriend, called Tal too, whom she loves very much.

 

 




Save the Date for The Second Annual Shalem Knowledge and Skills Conference    

The second conference for presentation of contemporary, Shalem Foundation-supported research papers in the area of intellectual developmental disabilities


To take place on 21 June 2018 | Thursday 

Information regarding the conference’s venue as well as a link for registration will be published on the Shalem Foundation website at a later date




.Congratulations to Dr. Adi Levy Vered, coordinator, Shalem Foundation’s Division for Assessment and Research, on being named outstanding lecturer in Pedagogic Innovation at Beit Berl College    

 In a ceremony which took place on Wednesday, 24 January 2018, the Beit Berl Academic College bestowed the Outstanding Lecturer, Leading Pedagogic Innovator Award upon Dr. Levy Vered

Dr. Adi Levy Vered has coordinated Shalem Foundation’s Division for Assessment and Research for a number of years

The Shalem Foundation congratulates Dr. Vered Levy on receiving the award and wishes her continued fruitful work under the auspices of Beit Berl Academic College and the Shalem Foundation Division for Assessment and Research 




Israeli Theatre for All! Beit Lessin Theatre received a special award for cultural activity at the Shalem Foundation’s Outstanding Awards Ceremony for 2017    

 A number of new categories stood out during this year’s Outstanding Awards Ceremony. One such category was the Special Award for Culture, bestowed upon Beit Lessin Theatre for its theatrical initiative and action, sensitivity and uniqueness, in presenting the lifestyle of people with intellectual developmental disabilities to the public at large, placing them center stage in a most worthy public dialogue

 
Beit Lessin Theatre, under the management of Tzippi Pines, has transformed the topic of special people in society, including people with disabilities, into its flagship topic throughout the past four seasons. During a series of shows presented to the public, all of which received excellent reviews, the topic of people with disabilities was addressed from various perspectives. Among the shows: “They Call Him King,” by Savyon Liebrecht, telling the story of David, a kibbutz member, whose friends have difficulty accepting him due to his different behavior; “The Disabled,” by Gur Koren, about a theatre group made up of people with disabilities, and how the audience comes to cherish the members of the group as they become familiar with the difficulties the experienced by players; “The Strange Story of the Dog at Night,” telling the story of a teenage boy with autism confronting his surroundings for the first time when he sets out on an excursion
 
During the course of the shows, the audience travels the same journey as the characters on stage, coming to truly understanding the needs of people with disabilities, and finally, at the end, taking home a lesson which will stay etched in their conscious for the rest of their lives: acceptance of people with disabilities and offering assistance, together with proper attitudes. Recently, the play “The Disabled” earned the title, Most Viewed Play of 2016, with an audience of over 125,600 viewers this year
 
We met with Zippi Pines, director of the Beit Lessin Theatre, Avi Grayinik, one of the actors in “They Call Him King,” and Yaniv Levy, an actor in “The Disabled”
 
 

Tzippi, how is the decision reached to produce a variety of plays pertaining to the world of special people

 

 
Beit Lessin Theatre always attempts to expose the audience to numerous enthralling topics of intrinsically additional value. Taking up the issue of people with disabilities came about from our understanding that this important topic did not receive enough stage exposure, and that the general public lacks sufficient awareness of the day-to-day struggles of people with disabilities and their immediate surroundings
 
 

How do the actors evolve their characters

 

 
Actors’ processes are individual. Every actor investigates according to his own understanding, building the character he plays together with the director. That being said, the theatre does offer professional help to provide actors with the additional tools and assistance they need to understand the character from different and deeper perspectives. Likewise, for plays about people with disabilities the actors portraying the characters visit facilities for people with special needs, experiencing their lives up close
 
 

Avi Grayinik tells about portraying the character of David in the play “They Call Him King”

 

 
David is a new member of the kibbutz. Three veteran kibbutzniks want to help him adjust, but because of his different nature they are drawn into making jokes on his account. While working on the character of David, I taught myself to think like a person whose motivation is simple and pure. The child inside me directed my body language: open and happy in moments of joy, closed and introverted when threatened or sad. With the encouragement of director Alon Offir I accomplished all of this, making slight adjustments to keep the character from coming across as absurd. While actually performing before an audience, I came to understand that the most emotional and believable moments were those when David, actually when each of us, desires to belong, to have intrinsic worth. In my opinion, this is a universal story about our ability or inability to relate to those different from us equally with understanding
 
Yaniv Levy, portraying Yanon, who has intellectually developmental disabilities, in the play “The Disabled”

The play “The Disabled” involves a theatre group of amateur actors with various disabilities and their encounter with an organized-crime family. I developed the character of Yaniv according to my personal acquaintance with members of the theatre group Akim, with whom I collaborated in the past. The biggest challenge was attaining a high level of authenticity in portraying the characters, especially since we were dealing with a comedy and there was a concern that the audience would think that the jokes were about the people with disabilities, which, of course, was not true. Throughout the process, in order to keep myself from portraying the topic too generally, I sincerely tried to understand the significance of intellectual disability and its specific consequences on daily life. Much to our pleasure, audiences’ reactions were poignant. Above and beyond the immediate laughter due to the comedy, we received hundreds of responses from people professing that the play awoke new and thoughtful considerations about inclusion of people with disabilities, in society and in general. I am grateful that I had the privilege to take part in such an important play
 
Riva Muskal, Director, The Shalem Foundation

“The series of plays produced by the Beit Lessin Theatre was a great success and was performed before thousands of people of all ages - people who were privileged to get a glimpse into the world and daily challenges facing those with special needs in general and people with intellectual disabilities in particular. The plays created a social and cultural dialogue which brought additional viewers in its wake, thus hurling the issue of intellectual developmental disability to the forefront of public discussion and simultaneously launching a process of barrier and prejudice elimination. Our Excellence Awards constitute an additional method of encouraging and strengthening the trend of positive exposure which in turn advances acceptance and social integration.”
 
 




Opening of Eliya Rehabilitation Day Center in Beer Sheva for Blind or Visually Impaired Children    

The new Eliya Rehabilitation Day Center opened in Beer Sheva last November in an exciting event in the presence of many guests, including Mayor Ruvik Danilovich, representatives of the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Social Services, representatives of the Shalem Foundation and the National Insurance Institute of Israel, and many more. In 1988, the organization opened a rehabilitation day center in the city of Beer Sheva for toddlers. The center had its start in a rented building, ill- suited to the toddlers’ special needs, and with an excess of problems and limitations
 
Finally, the new center opened its doors in a new, respectable, spacious and appropriate building, allowing 850 meters within the building for the children’s comfortable and pleasant activity and enabling the organization to offer a solution to additional children in need of their services. In addition to increasing the number of classrooms, the building includes a dark room, sensory room, Gymboree, socio-drama, para-medical rooms and two special courtyards for outdoor games
 
Eliya is a leading organization in Israel for the advancement of blind or visually impaired children, supplying a wide range of services, including assessment, care, support and rehabilitation. Eliya began its activity with six children and presently provides programs for hundreds yearly in four centers throughout the country. Eliya assists in preparing blind or visually impaired children for integration into mainstream education and society, also providing a professional solution for blind or visually impaired children with complex developmental issues as they continue on to appropriate facilities adapted to their needs and abilities. Eliya also provides encouragement and support to family members, empowering them to help advance their children in the most efficient and positive manner
 
Shalem Foundation assistance included grants for building and equipping the center
 




The House on Negba Street, Beer Sheva: Setting Out on a New Road    

 In December 2017, a festive event was held, dedicating a new home for six people with intellectual developmental disability who moved to the new quarters from their previous residence

Participating in the event were: Beer Sheva Mayor Duvik Dalinovich; Vice Mayor and holder of the Education and Welfare portfolio, Dr. Heftsi Zohar; representatives of the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Social Services; Orna Yogav, senior director of the Housing Division in the Disabilities Administration, Director of Southern Disrict; Israel Budik; representatives of the municipal Social Affairs Department; and families, staff, Erez Paz (home owner), neighbors and guests. The strong turnout inspired all participants and strengthened the significance of neighborliness and the mutual good feeling of including people with intellectual developmental disabilities in the neighborhood
Beer Sheva has a veteran system of homes run by the Ami Organization. As residents grow older and changes to the existing homes belonging to the public housing system are required, the organization’s administration takes upon itself to rent either newly constructed apartments or apartments which can be sufficiently adapted to residents’ needs. During the course of 2017, one apartment for six residents was already found, and, recently, a single home with a garden was located, renovated and adapted to the needs of the organization’s most veteran residents. Each resident living in the home has a private room, for which they chose their own furniture, adapting the room their personal needs. The presence at the ceremony of the home’s owner as well as close neighbors was most special and emphasized the good neighborly relations and mutual good feeling of inclusion of residents with intellectual developmental disabilities into the neighborhood
 
The Shalem Foundation assisted in funding for equipping the home
 




Making the Subject of Aging Accessible to People with Cognitive Disabilities – Opening Event at the Weinberg Center, Elwyn, Jerusalem    

An opening event on the subject of The Accessibility of Aging was held at Elwyn’s Weinberg Center on the evening of Wednesday, 20 December 2017.  Fifty people participated in the event: Center retirees and their families; Riva Muskal, Shalem Foundation director; supervisors from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services; social workers from the Caregivers’ Bureau; representatives of housing organizations and staff from Elwyn’s various facilities

The evening began with greetings from Riva Muskal, Shalem Foundation director, Huda Abu-Sway, Ministry of Social Affairs’ regional supervisor, and Nora Kiewelowicz, director of Elwyn’s Jerusalem and Southern Israel Branch.

 

Basing her talk on central themes from her research, Niri David lectured on the topic, “The Aging Experience among People with Cognitive Disabilities”. Retirees spoke about their individual experiences as participants in groups dedicated to the topic of “Understanding Aging,” presented in short video films, together with a guide for viewing the films, produced by the Shalem Foundation

 

Event participants exited the evening with positive impressions. The theme was one of importance and for some participants it was their first exposure to the topic.

Participants commented that they learned about approaching the subject of aging in general, and aging among people with cognitive disabilities in particular, as well as other subjects relating to people with cognitive disabilities and people in general such as choice and finances

 

Retirees participating in the event, generally used to seeing Niri David in short video films, were duly impressed by her words during the evening. Taking an active part in the lecture, they shared experiences regarding aging and retirement, and expressed their satisfaction from the process they are experiencing in the group, “Understanding Aging.”

 

The retirees, together with Weinberg Center staff, thanked the Shalem Foundation and Niri David for the important information, the videos and the guide, all of which assisted staff in teaching Weinberg Center retirees and offering support to help them acclimate to this stage of their lives

 

The Shalem Foundation funded development of the short video films and the guide to viewing the films, and supported the event at Elwyn, Jerusalem as well

 




A Tradition is Born in the Regional Council Sedot Negev    

Social worker Maayan Benishti writes
 
“On Wednesday, 10 January 2018, a special, traditional event, part of the Social Affair Department’s extensive yearly activity, was held in the Regional Council Sedot Negev to augment special-needs awareness.
The evening, held in the Sedot Negev Cultural Center, attracted approximately 400 participants, including area residents, families of children with special needs, professionals and Regional Council staff.
The evening’s speakers included: Mr. Noah Elmasi, director of Social Services and Mr. Tamir Idan, Council Head; Mrs. Sesil Gritzber, coordinator of the Division of Services for Persons with Development Disabilities in the Ministry of Social Affairs, Southern Area; Mrs. Maayan Dahan, representative of the group Mothers of Children with Special Needs, and was emceed for the second consecutive year by Social Service division social workers.
The show, ‘If We’re Already Here, Why Don’t We Enjoy It?,’ produced by the Aluma Theatre, graced the evening. The show, exploring the topic of growth, challenges, strength and faith in special parenthood, was powerful and emotional. The actresses, themselves mothers of children with special needs, passionately sang and spoke about every issue! Upon the show’s conclusion, an important and significant discussion with audience participation was held
As mentioned, the evening has become a tradition in the Social Affairs Department, initiated by department social workers in conjunction with the Sedot Negev Community Library.
We would like to thank everyone who took part and participated in this event. Special thanks to the Shalem Foundation and the Ministry Social Affairs and Social Services for their assistance, and to Mrs. Shulamit Abutbul, director of the Community Library.”
 

The Shalem Foundation is partner to the initiative and its production, as well as funding of events to increase awareness of and exposure to people with intellectual disabilities throughout the country 

 




Get to Know the Other" in the city of Beer Sheva"    

 In response to a tender published by The Shalem Foundation, the Municipality of Beer Sheva launched a new initiative, implemented by the Kivunim Company, for the integration and inclusion of people with intellectual developmental disabilities in neighborhood sports’ events

The Division of Services for Persons with Development Disabilities in the Ministry of Social Welfare and Social Services, the Municipality of Beer Sheva’s Department of Social Services’ Rehabilitation Branch and Department of Sport, the Education Department’s Branch for Special Education and the Shalem Foundation are all partners to this initiative
As part of the initiative, a number of joint endeavors - ongoing and one-time - took place during the 5777 school year, exposing various sections of the population to people with intellectual disabilities as regular partners in myriad activities
  

Cooperation between Students of “Comprehensive C” and “Dekalim” School

 

Special education school “Dekalim” and “Comprehensive C” High School cooperated on a number of fronts. Every Sunday saw one and a half hours of joint Breakdance practice; Wednesdays were set aside for joint basketball practice. As a result of the shared activities, warm personal relationships were formed between students of the two schools. In addition to the regular weekly activity, students met during Chanukah to light a chemical menorah, ending the evening with delicious sufganiot (traditional jelly doughnuts). Once a month, the science class from “Comprehensive C” hosted alternating classes from “Dekalim” school for a fun sports day. For the project’s concluding event, participants were invited to go bowling in Beer Sheva. After a short closing ceremony, each student bowled two games and everyone enjoyed pizza. “Dekalim” School students were gifted with a sports bag, a basketball and a decorated soda bottle
 

Inclusion in the Retirees’ March

 

The annual “Retirees’ March,” was extremely moving this year when 50 participants from Yachdav’s Occupational Training Center for People with Intellectual Disabilities joined the march. Participants marched around the city’s Gan HaPa’amon for 2 kilometers, and continued with sports activities within the park, including Tai Chi, folk dancing, a drumming workshop, and more
 

Cooperation between the Orian and Ilanot Elementary Schools

 

Third grade students from within the schools were chosen to participate in the cooperative program between the special education school Ilanot and the elementary school Orian. As part of the program, students had weekly joint basketball practice. The children cooperated gladly, and it seemed they truly connected to each other
 

Inclusion in the Municipal Streetball Tournament

 

As part of the traditional streetball events in Beer Sheva, 10 players from the AKIM Organization took part in the events, under the coaching of Itay Meirovich. The players took part in a friendly game in which they played with members of the Comprehensive C basketball team. Three players even took part in the triplet competition, to the wild cheers of the crowd
 
Hats off to the Kivunim Company and especially to sports coordinator Yahav Hadad for turning this unique idea into a reality with potential to continue and even expand during the 5778 school year
 

The Shalem Foundation was partner to the initiative, its planning and funding

 

 
 

 




Shimon the King – The Story of a Young Radio Announcer from Beit She’an. Movie by Ariel Miroz    

 Shimon Dahan is a young man of 26 from Beit She’an with Down’s Syndrome. He studies in “The Institute for Life Studies for People with Special Needs” in the Jordan Valley. There, he is known as “Shimon the King,” the undisputed leader of a clique of students. But Shimon wants to succeed in “regular society,” to be a musician, to follow his calling. Shimon gets the chance to fulfill his dream when he’s accepted into the radio announcers’ course in “The Kinneret Academic College”. Before the course even begins, Shimon’s imagination takes off and he fantasizes about hosting his own radio show. Concurrently, he leaves his first girlfriend, Mirit, who also has disabilities, feeling that having a girlfriend “like that” isn’t appropriate for him.

Reality, however, is quick to slap Shimon in the face. His inclination to fantasize and his uppity behavior cause the people in his class and the teacher, Menashe Raz, to push him to the side. Shimon is hurt. The other students in his class treat him dismissively and none of them join his initiative to air a radio program about Eastern music
In order to succeed in the course, Shimon has to undergo a process of disillusionment, casting off his childish fantasies.
Is he capable of doing that? Will he succeed in fitting in with regular students and become a radio announcer? Will “Shimon the King” succeed in making his dream come true – to work in music and earn a living from it?
“Shimon the King” is the story of Shimon Dahan on his way to making his dream come true. The question of Shimon’s integration into regular society and his success in the radio course are central points in the movie, signifying both internal and external conflicts. The movie fluctuates between the ideal of personal fulfillment and its central expression in our culture and our true ability, as a society, to understand atypical, dissimilar people and accept them as an integral part of ourselves.
Despite this, the movie is not only the story of “an unusual person” in “regular” society. The movie touches on the human desire in each of us to stand out, to succeed, and to leave our mark on the world. The journey of Shimon Dahan of Beit She’an is a spiritual, social and psychological journey of one person within the huge world; one person who wants to fulfill himself: to be “the best, the most open and the most complete,” exactly as each of us yearn to be
 
 

See the ynet article about the movie here

 

 
The Shalem Foundation is a partner in the funding of the movie
 




First Edition of the Meytal House Self-Advocacy Group Newspaper – Day Center for Adults Requiring Full-time Care    

The Meytal House Day Center for adults requiring full-time care under the auspices of the Shalem Foundation recently concluded the workshop, “Self-advocacy and Self-representation,” directed by Maya Goldman and emceed by Lea Davidson

 
The groundbreaking workshop, among the first of its kind, was held as a pilot project, assessing the prospect of continuity. The process, entailing a workshop for staff members, a meeting for parents, and private and group counseling, was meant to introduce the approach of self-advocacy and self-representation among staff members and the center’s service recipients.
The newspaper is the result of unique activity launched this year in the Meytal House Day Center, focusing on the topics enrichment and knowledge, with methods of implementation produced in cooperation with center service recipients and based on the principals of self-advocacy. In the course of activities for enhancing enrichment and knowledge, center service recipients were exposed to current events via guided exposure to news items, after which the program instructor raised questions, opening opportunities for in-depth analyzation of the material viewed.
Towards the end of the month-long project, workshop participants take upon themselves the editing of the newspaper: choosing topics, colors and, of course, a name for the paper. The newspaper publishing process was led by Meytal House counselor Sharona Abraham, under the administration of Reut Golanik Sela
 
The center’s self-advocacy process was a joint effort of The Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services, the Municipality of Rishon L’Zion, Maya Goldman and the Shalem Foundation, which also assisted in funding the program