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


Attach a full text document of the SPT - Strategic Pivot Thinking


לפריט המלא
קרא | הורד

Liel's dream is to become a soldier   Just like everyone else: interviews with our most precious partners  

.Meet eleven-year-old Liel from Holon. She has seven brothers, loves to travel, listen to music and play basketball

...Her dream is to become a soldier when she grows up


Nothing about Us without Us - A First-of-its-Kind Advocate Conference of People with Intellectual Disabilities    

Over the past two years, the Shalem Foundation joined a “self-advocating” program in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services, the Division of Services for Persons with Development Disabilities. The program began operating in rehabilitation centers across Israel. The closing event (conference) of the program took place in Ramat-Gan in April this year and involved students with intellectual and developmental disabilities from employment centers nationwide and from all sectors., where they presented their success stories from the program.

The event was attended by more than 100 people from 11 employment centers across Israel, representatives of the Shalem Fund-partner and funder of the program, Vivian Azran, Director of Community Services in the division for Persons with Developmental Disabilities from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services, Tali Alon, National Supervisor of Leisure and Supporting services, Dani Katz, National Supervisor of Employment and Treatment from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services, and Ofra Berger, facilitator of the self-advocating workshops.
Self-advocating is a program in which people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) in various frameworks establish their rights and realize their needs and desires. They become an integral part of the decision making process in their community framework, enabling them to achieve their personal goals and desires. At the basis of the self-advocating approach is the assumption that each person has the right to be included in decisions concerning oneself and their life. This approach supports the notion that every action by professionals should be based on what is important to the person from their own point of view, by paying attention to and having a continuing dialogue with them.
The Shalem Fund with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services have taken this matter one step forward and, in partnership with the Division for Persons with IDD, have developed a program for assisting teams and service receivers in employment frameworks to become familiar with the self-advocating approach. The program has been and continues to be successful with new frameworks …..every year. It enables people with IDD to express their needs. Moreover, it promotes and develops useful skills for people with developmental disability such as: taking responsibility and actively being involved in decisions and plans regarding one's life, understanding, and learning  how to present themselves and their interests.
Riva Muskal, Director, the Shalem Fund, funder of the program stated: “Self-advocating is a necessary stage in the incorporation of persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the community and workplaces, alongside the greatest right of any person to “have his or her voice heard” and be fully included in decisions regarding his or her life. People with IDD face many challenges; one of the most prominent is the difficulty to express themselves and their desires. This “self-advocating” program gives tools to create an environment where people with IDD can express themselves freely and be their own “advocate”. The Shalem Foundation will continue promoting and funding initiatives which improve the quality of life of people with IDD disabilities in all aspects of life in the community”.
So, What Interests people with IDD?
At this ground breaking conference people with IDD, one by one, shared the subjects that interest them.  They included: food preferences, health issues, birthday activities and wishes, hygiene related issues, recreational ideas, employment and how to build success in one's workplace.
Some of the interesting stories included initiatives such as: an “economic recycling” project, which collects bottles for recycling raising money for gifts... a rehabilitation center in southern Israel which started a newspaper, another built a project of cultivating seeds and selling them, in addition to opening a kiosk in order to raise money while a third center presented a process where the need for private lockers was suggested by the people with IDD and therefore chosen by them and installed.
Red Means : Stop,  Green Means : Go
Projects which was widely embraced by the people with IDD participating in the summarizing conference and developed at "Shekel" Rehabilitation center was: Red Means “Stop”, Green Means “Go”.  The participants were sharing their difficulty to lock toilet doors, and their need for privacy.  The initiative they created was red and green signs which they hung up and used. Red – taken, “please do not open”, and green – “clear”. The initiate was credited to the ……
In Summary people with Intellectual and Developmental disabilities, their families and  professionals all understood and appreciated the goals, concepts and tools for self-advocacy. Moreover, Vivian Azran, Director of Community Services at the Department for Persons with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities at the Ministry of social services announced her intention to create "a national advocacy representation group for all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities”.


Riva Muskal: the “self- advocacy” programs are a crucial facet in the change we are seeking to becoming a more accepting and inclusive society, and just as important – attentive


Planning at Early Stages Creates Real Social Integration- The Shalem Fund at the Urban Renewal Convention of the Foundation of Local Authorities in Israel    

In January this year, the annual convention of the Foundation of Local Authorities and the Jewish National Fund took place at the Tel-Aviv Convention Center under the title of “Together, Moving Cities to Innovation”. The Shalem Fund participated in this conference due it its activities, connections with local authorities, and goal to reach out to new audiences in order to increase awareness and integration of people with IDD in the community.  The Shalem Foundation promoted unique training for municipal engineers combined with grants for projects promoting accessibility and integration of people with IDD in the municipal sphere.
Riva Muskal, Director of the Shalem Fund, presented the fund's activities, budgets, areas of support and assistance regarding urban and preliminary planning. She also presented inspirational stories from the field, the training course and its impact in enhancing the quality of life of people with IDD in the community. Finally, she presented a joint project in the town of Harish where at the early stages of establishment and planning; the needs and facilities for people with IDD where combined in the community centers and buildings in the neighborhoods. We view municipal engineers as crucial players in planning and accomplishing projects with sensitivity for people with IDD fostering true integration in the municipal-social sphere. The convention attendees showed great interest in the Foundation’s activities and realized that fully incorporating this subject into planning is only a matter of time

The Shalem Foundation creates hundreds of programs both for and with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in partnership with local government, professionals and nonprofit organizations


We Have a New Home at the Heart of Nes-Ziona    

What began 21 years ago as an apartment for training and life skills, has become a permanent home for people with IDD with the initiative of Shikmim Association and their parents. The building consists of 730 square meters, and is home to 18 tenants between the ages of 23 and 40, characterized by mild to moderate intellectual disabilities, who are independent and at a high functioning level. Located in the center of old Nes-Ziona, at the heart of the community, near many cultural centers and by this enabling the tenants optimal integration in the community-social sphere

The Shalem Fund grants construction and equipment for frameworks in the community


Toddlers Deserve the Best- Rehabilitation Daycare Center "Michal" for Toddlers in Holon    

Michal Center - communication rehabilitation and daycare, opened in Holon and is managed by Chimes Association Israel. Before the center was opened approximately 50 toddlers were driven to various facilities outside of the city. The daycare center caters for toddlers with intellectual, developmental disabilities and autism, aged from 6 months to 3 years, who receive a therapeutic educational daily schedule, which includes a personal rehabilitation plan developed by the center’s professional staff in collaboration with the parents. The toddlers’ families are an integral part of their children’s development and progress, and they receive training from the paramedical staff in order to create a therapeutic continuum at home, as well as, access to support groups, guidance and consultation.

The daycare center is named after Michal, Dina Becker’s daughter, who has worked for many years as head of the Rehabilitation Department at the Holon municipality. Dina has managed the Prat Association in Holon, and when the association shut down she donated the association’s funds to finance the establishment of the daycare center. The welfare directors in the city, social worker Tova Bar-Lev and her replacement, social worker Iris Tzur, have invested great efforts in finding an appropriate structure, and have driven the establishment of the center with the support of the municipality, and funding from the National Insurance

The Shalem Fund made a grant for the renovation and equipment of the center


My Brother is Special” – a Seminar on Siblings with Special Needs in Netanya"    

The Department of Welfare and Social Services in Netanya and the Department of Psychological Services, in partnership with the Shalem Fund, held a joint seminar, in May this year addressing the issues of siblings in families with children with special needs. The seminar held in the presence of Netanya Mayor Miriam Feirberg introduced the special challenges faced by healthy children with siblings or parents who suffer from a chronic disease or disability.  These include challenges and the gains alongside the different complex situations that siblings have to deal with


At the entrance to the seminar's hall there was an exhibition entitled “Myself, My Brother and the Camera”, a unique photographic exhibition of 10 photographs taken by children with special needs and their siblings, as part of a photo-therapy group
In addition, the Lev HaMerkaz choir performed, the choir being composed of children with special needs and their siblings from Kiryat Gat. There was also a lecture about siblings, the use of different therapeutic approaches and more. The seminar concluded with a lecture given by Hagit Ron-Rabinovitch, a mother of four, whose eldest son 20-year-old Ilay, was diagnosed with autistism at the age of two, followed by a documentary film called “I Have a Special Brother” she has produced together with Eyal Rubinstein

The Shalem Fund awarded a grant and supported this seminar


Promoting safe and good transportation: a day with the drivers and the carers who accompany children and adults with disabilities    

Following an unusual event during transportation in Qalansawe, The Shalem Fund realized the importance of training and was involved in an awareness rising day with drivers in the Arab sector. The goals of the day were to provide information and emphasize the importance of the positive impact that can be achieved by drivers and carers working with special needs populations of all levels of functioning. The event which took place in March this year in Qalansawe was attended by approximately 200 drivers from 7 Arab towns. The seminar is a first-of-its-kind in the region in general, and in the Arab society in particular
The success of the day was thanks to the collaboration of welfare and education managers and the staff from municipalities and towns in the region, the Regional supervisors, Beit Issie Shapiro and the Shalem Foundation
Among the issues presented were valuing a person with intellectual and developmental disabilities, safe transportation, the Law for the Helpless and the duty of reporting. The discussion of these significant subjects led to exposures, reflection and joint brainstorming for new approaches
Zmirawi Wiam – social worker and welfare officer for intellectual and developmental disabilities in Qalansawe, was a key partner in the planning of the seminar with Latifah Mansur, district supervisor of the Ministry of Social Welfare and Social Affairs, stated that : knowledge is power and is the key for change, the seminar greatly contributed to changing attitudes which will contribute to a change of behavior towards a person with special needs. The day lead to increased knowledge in this field and has "opened eyes" to the needs of the entire population with special needs, and for the services provided to them. In addition, the seminar resulted viewing others with acceptance and respect, re-emphasizing to professionals, carers and drivers, that respect and responsibility are obligatory for them in their contact with students and toddlers with special needs, their families and supervisors

The Shalem Fund assisted in planning and financing this seminar 


Growing Wings – Closing Event of the Self-Advocating Course at the Halichot Beit-Yaakov Seminary in Modi’in Illit    

 “Each of us has their own wings, we have learned to get to know them and fly with them”. This was how one student summarized the course “Self-Advocating for People with developmental intellectual disabilities” at the Halichot Beit-Yaakov Seminary in Modi’in Illit. This course, at the joint initiative of the Shalem Fund and the Halichot Beit-Yaakov Seminary in Modi’in Illit, is a ground-breaking course, and this is the first time a course such as this one is held in an orthodox education center. The course was attended by about twenty education workers from the fields of regular and special education


The course, its goals and content, were carefully selected and adapted to the lifestyle, religious worldview and unique challenges of this group. Among others, the course included religious lections dealing with issues of giving out of respect and the value of a person as a person, concepts in advocating such as free choice, autonomy and realization of rights took on a different meaning adapted to the community dialogue, and direct meetings with personal stories took place. Attorney Haya Gershoni coordinated the course on behalf of the seminary. During the summarizing meeting, the students shared their insights from the course as well as the personal growth they experienced - in aliases
Shifra: Using the awareness to rights I referred my relative to receive a psychologist’s counseling free of charge, when the religious centers were not aware of this option, and since then they have used this for other students as well
Nava: I drew personal conclusions from the course. I learned to clarify the salary I deserve, and in fact – to advocate for myself

The insight that consolidates the array was provided by Sarah: I no longer see the field of disabilities as black and white, integration or separation, normative or irregular. I see that there are many shades of gray

Familiarizing with the World of developmental intellectual disabilities” – National Seminar on behalf of the Shalem Fund at the Kibbutzim College for People Working in Economy, Administration and Secretariats"    

 In the beginning of March, 20 participants working in economy, secretariats and administration from all over Israel went on a tour as part of the seminar “Familiarizing with the World of developmental intellectual disabilities”. The seminar was held at the Kibbutzim College on behalf of the Shalem Fund. The tour included a visit to two centers operated by the Amichai Association, at the Yevulim Ecological Farm, in Kfar Malal and the Amichai Home in Hod HaSharon. At the Yevulim Ecological Farm, in Kfar Malal, the participants toured between the trees and plant beds, learned about a recycling and sustainability project and heard from the workers about the experience of working at such a unique place. At the Amichai Home in Hod HaSharon they met with the CEO of the Amichai Association, Keren Shushan. One participant said: “We received a fascinating tour, a glimpse of the community work, the creative solutions they create for the members and the unique services they have: Snoezelen, greenhouse, virtual reality room, gym, and at the end of the tour we ate at the Cofix branch operating on site”

This is the first year that the Kibbutzim College is preforming training seminars on the behalf of the Shalem Fund. In addition to this seminar, the College also holds two other seminars: Familiarizing with developmental intellectual disabilities for service year volunteers in Mevaseret Zion and Familiarizing with the Sexual and Social Development of People with developmental intellectual disabilities, intended for instructors and caretakers in adult day care centers

The Shalem Fund is partner to initiating the seminars along with the National and District Supervision at the Department of Persons with developmental intellectual disabilities, the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Social Services, and finances them

Getting Connected in Ashkelon! The Tri-Annual Convention of the Shalem Fund for Coordinators, Social Workers and Care Center Managers in the Field of Developmental Intellectual Disabilities    

 The “Connected” convention is, as the name suggests, a connection between different content worlds and professionals from all over Israel, dealing with developmental intellectual disabilities. This year, the convention was held in Ashkelon, in an experiential framework rich of inspirational contents which provided a glimpse into new and interesting content worlds and slightly different thinking. The convention, constructed in collaboration with professionals from the authorities and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services, was organized by the Department of Training at the Federation of Local Authorities in Israel. The participants’ cost was greatly subsidized by the Shalem Fund as well as by Homesh Association, and the Social Workers Union for its members. 100 professionals from all over Israel were exposed to various contents over the course of two days, and experienced various workshops


The convention also featured the premiere performance of “Beyond the Voice”, a choir consisting people with and without disabilities, which constitutes an innovative model for integration and a real and equal meeting place for people who share the love for singing and music. The choir was created by the Shalem Fund in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services and the National Insurance Institute. The crowd’s responses were emotionally warm and authentic and supported the choir members in understanding how inspirational they are. Great thought was invested in the convention in quality contents out of respect and appraisal for workers who work in and direct and daily contact with populations of people with developmental intellectual disabilities. The convention constitutes a professional meeting, recharging batteries and assisting in strengthening abilities and encouraging achievements and goal setting both as people and as professionals

The Shalem Fund initiates and subsidizes the convention, which has become a professional tradition


Seminar for Professionals in the Field of Treating Persons with Developmental Intellectual Disabilities – Southern District    

 In recent years, we have witnessed great development in the field of legislation and services provided for people with developmental intellectual disabilities, emphasizing increasing familial strength. In January this year, a seminar was held in Beer-Sheva in the southern district, intended to expand the reference circle for a person with developmental intellectual disabilities in the familial and social context, by presenting the most updated work procedures and discussing the role of the social worker and professionals in implementing and developing this policy. 80 professionals from the southern district participated in this seminar, including: social workers from social affairs and social services departments, disabilities coordinators and department manager in the social affairs and social services divisions, and managers of community and residential centers


A central part of this seminar was devoted to the lecture “the Diamond Insight” by Haya and Tzachi Dichner, a mother with developmental intellectual disabilities and her son, dealing with the border between helping and patronage, the topic of marriage and having children, and a collection of insights from her joint journey. In addition, the following lectures were held: “Beyond the Community” by Mati Cohen, national supervisor for the integration of tenants in the community, “Procedure of Placement in Foster Care for Children Until the Age of Eight and the Foster Care Law” by Aryeh Shemesh, national supervisor in the field of foster care and preschoolers. Sher Avi Hagit, director of the Summit branch in Beer-Sheva, presented the association’s work in the field of disabilities. The day was closed with Vivian Azran, the service manager, who presented updates and the new work procedures

The Shalem Fund was partner in planning the day and assisted in financing it