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. 
Evaluating the contribution of the "Lilach" website - accessing information in the field of women's health   Catalog # 219| PhD. Adi Levi Vered, Noga Chen  

This study was carried out by 'Michlol'- the Assessment and Measurement Unit of the Shalem Fund



Every year, Shalem Fund offers student ideas that may develop and contribute to a population with developmental intellectual disabilities. Accordingly, Noa Maynart and Shahar Moore, BA Students at the Holon Institute of Technology have developed an online platform for accessing information on women's health, for women with intellectual disabilities. The rationale for the project stemmed from the need to step up from the field, whereby gynecological examinations are performed on women with developmental intellectual disabilities without the woman being a significant part of the examination, meaning they do not know what is expected of them and at the time of examination they do not know exactly what the doctor is examining and why. This project was assessed by Michlol - evaluation and research unit of the Shalem Fund. The evaluation study included 23 women with developmental intellectual disabilities from 7 different housing frames, as well as 14 direct caregivers who accompanied them to the process. The purposes of the research were focused on examining women's knowledge after exposure to the 'Lilach' site, examining their change in attitude at the visit to the women doctor following the exposure of the site as well as the satisfaction of the women and caregivers from the site. in general, the results of the evaluation were positive and sometimes surprising in terms of the women's own responses to the various questions referred to them. The site seemed to provide learning and emotional preparation to the woman for visiting at the women's doctor. Moreover, the acquisition of knowledge contributed significantly to have a more positive visit to the women's doctor, among women with developmental disabilities


To read the full findings report in Hebrew press here
To view the summarizing presentation of results in Hebrew
press here
To read the executive summary in Hebrew 
press here



Key Words
People with Intellectual developmental disabilities
Cognitive accessibility
Shalem Fund study




Survey findings: The perception of local authorities' officials on research in the field of intellectual developmental disabilities   Catalog # 257| PhD. Adi Levi Vered, Noga chen  

This study was carried out by 'Michlol'- the Assessment and Measurement Unit of the Shalem Foundation
This survey was created by a large-scale qualitative study initiated by the Shalem Foundation (
see link) which dealt with the extent of the contribution, impact and / or effectiveness of the fund's long-term investment in research, as well as the contribution of the studies it supported in the area of intellectual disability. In the framework of the research, the studies presented to the Shalem Foundation research committee were mapped over the years, in various aspects such as: content and topics, budget, researchers, the number of references to the research and its support and more. Additionally, depth interviews were conducted with experts and stakeholders to obtain a picture of their perceptions of the contribution of these studies as well as of the perception on the idea of support in research as one of the Foundation's functions
Following the findings of the study, it was decided to conduct a survey among the professionals at the social services departments in all the local authorities in order to learn about the needs for applied research that could serve them optimally and improve the quality of service provided to people with intellectual disabilities and those around them

This document presents the findings of the survey conducted in the first quarter of 2019

To read the full findings report in Hebrew press here
To view the summarizing presentation of results in Hebrew
press here
To view the Executive Summary in Hebrew
press here

Key Words
People with Intellectual developmental disabilities
Research, assessment and measurement
Shalem Fund study



Supported employment - as part of the Employment Services for People with Intellectual developmental disability- mapping the characteristics of the partners in the program and the satisfaction of the employe   Catalog # 165 | PhD. Adi Levi Vered, Maya Sabag, Bosmat Hoh, Noga chen  

 This study was carried out by 'Michlol'- the Assessment and Measurement Unit of the Shalem Foundation The following evaluation report present the mapping of the characteristics of employed persons, employers, workplaces and coordinators accompanying the employment program. Additionally, the report presents the findings of the employer's satisfaction assessment of the program and the findings of the training and professional development needs of the coordinators in this program. All these in order to show the characteristics of the populations involved in the program and the examination of points in the plan that must…

קרא עוד

Attitudes change towards people with intellectual developmental disabilities - among Academic's students who study in courses provided by the Shalem Fund and among Training students at Shalem Fund's courses - in the year of 2017   Catalog # 196 | PhD. Adi Levi Vered, Maya Sabag, Noga chen  

This study was carried out by 'Michlol'- the Assessment and Measurement Unit of the Shalem Foundation
The following evaluation report present the findings of the change in attitudes toward people with intellectual developmental disabilities in relation to their quality of life among Academic students and Training students, before and after their participation in courses in the field of with Intellectual developmental disabilities

The courses that were held in the academic year 2017, were aimed at two different populations

One of them is courses for Academic's students who have taken place within academic frameworks- in order to provide this students background and knowledge about the world of the person with the intellectual developmental disabilitie, its abilities, needs and the solutions that exist today for this population

The second one is Training courses designed for staff members (training students) who work in frameworks designed for people with intellectual developmental disabilities- in order to provide to the professionals focused knowledge, in their field of employment, about the needs of people with intellectual developmental disabilities and the possible responses for this population

To read the full findings report in Hebrew press here

To view the summarizing presentation of results in Hebrew press here


Key Words
People with intellectual developmental disabilities
Caregivers and staff
Research, assessment and measurement
Attitudes and social perceptions
Shalem Fund study



Supportive Environment - Informational video    

Supportive Environment - a program for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities

The supportive environment program is a community based program under the auspices of the Community Services Division of the Disabilities Administration in the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Services. It offers an alternative to out-of-the-home placement for adults with intellectual disabilities. The program, established ten years ago, is now serving approximately 630 people, supervised by 40 counselors, in 45 municipalities throughout Israel.
The program provides guidance, support, and auxiliary services for men and women, including at-risk populations, age 21 and over with IDD who live by themselves or with aging parents in the community. The goal of the program is to enable these people to live at home, in the community, for as long as possible.
The following video demonstrates the unique aspects of the supportive environment program as they are tailored to the individual needs of each participant, while taking into consideration his or her choice of utilizing the various existing programs in the community. The program operates in conjunction with the social service departments in each community, and it is unique in its ability to promote advancement and inclusion of those individuals who have yet to participate in the various local service programs. It offers support which is based on a personalized relationship between the service providers and the participants and is tailored to the needs of each person.

This short film was produced with the support of the Shalem Fund

- To the program’s policy paper
- To the evaluation study

Produced, directed and edited by Yoav Kleinman, 2018.


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.

To dowload the full document



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קרא | הורד

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