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 Therapeutic Relationship Covenant” at the International Down’s Syndrome Convention"    

 The Down’s Syndrome awareness day is held all over the world on March 21. On this day, for the tenth year in a row, the International Down’s Syndrome Convention was held at the Shalva National Center in Jerusalem


This year, the convention dealt with the “Therapeutic Relationship Covenant”. About 400 participants from all over Israel enjoyed a variety of fascinating lectures, including: “The Envoy and the Mission” – a lecture about the staff notifying the parents that their child was born with Down’s Syndrome, presented by social worker Goldi Maranes, coordinator of the field of mother and child at the Department of Social Work, Hadassah Medical Center in Ein Kerem. “The Integration in Shalva Kindergartens”, presented by Batya Boda, coordinator of kindergartens at Shalva, and Tehila Freundlich, pedagogical instructor. In addition, Dr. Ayelet Gur, post-doctorate student in the disability project at the Harvard Medical School, presented her lecture on: “The Family and Individual with Disabilities, Initial Findings from a Study in Israel”. The study of households with a child or adult with intellectual disabilities – head researcher: Prof. Arik Rimerman, Research Authority at the University of Haifa, partnered by the Shalem Fund and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services
During the convention, the participants enjoyed a performance by the group “the Pace of Peace”, which left the audience emotional and teary, and the exhibition “Glance of Love” – photographs of parents and their children with disabilities, incorporated in the stories behind the photographs. The exhibition curator is Miki Arnon, director of education and training at the Shekel Association. A family panel was held at the end of the convention hosted by Aryeh Shemesh, the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services, and Liat Rahat, director of rehabilitation therapeutic educational programs at Shalva. The parents who participated in the panel delivered the convention’s message from a personal aspect. To them, the journey as a family was intensified due to a meeting with an enabling therapeutic person, and in other words: the therapeutic relationship covenant

The convention contents were assembled by the staff of the scientific committee: Prof. Yoav Marik, the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services, Dr. Ariel Tenenbaum, Hadassah Medical Center, Riva Muskal, chairwoman of the Shalem Fund, Nili Ben-Dor, the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services, Sarit Rachamim, the Jerusalem municipality, and Liron Benisti, director of research and development at Shalva


Only If We Learn to Accept the People Different from Us Will the World Become a Better Place– Social Volunteering with Special People    

Volunteering is one of the most important levels in creating a quality and integrating society. Volunteering with people with intellectual disabilities is also socially important, and alongside the challenges it poses, it grants both sides, the contributor and the contributed, great satisfaction and excitement.

Eden Aburokan, a 15-year-old girl from Haifa, volunteers with the older children at Gan HaYeled in Haifa, and shares her experiences:

“For years I didn’t ascribe importance to people who need support, assistance and social integration in normative frameworks in the community. Meeting the joint theatre group of the older children at Gan HaYeled and students from Reut and Alliance has taught me that people with special needs need us. It is true that they are different, think slower, but they are certainly similar to us in their thoughts and needs. At the beginning, I wasn’t excited about volunteering at Gan HaYeled. I thought it would be difficult for me, but after getting to know these special people, I saw another world of colors and love. I understood that they need us just as we need them. They taught me what love is and how big it can be. I met people full of warmth and endless joy. They truly want to be friends with everyone, but we are the ones who put a separating line between us and them. The amazing experience I had this year made me understand that only on the day when people are willing to accept people who are different from them, will be world become a better place to live in. I fully support integrating people with special needs in the community, I think it is a decree. At the end of the day we are all equal people and we need company. They need us and the normative equal society, which includes everyone with every person’s different statuses


Integrating Duathlon” in Ashkelon"    

 The Ashkelon municipality chose to state the 2016 day of the disabled in a unique sports event – an “integrating duathlon”, which emphasizes the possibility and the right for social integration in all aspects of life, including physical activity. The duathlon included running and the option for riding a variety of bicycles adapted to the participants’ capacities. It was attended by athletes, youth and adults with and without disabilities next to each other. The “integrating duathlon” is a joint initiative by the Education Administration, the Department of Sports and the Department of Social Affairs and Social Services at the Ashkelon municipality, and was held with the support of the Shalem Fund. The event was held with the presence of Mayor Itamar Shimoni, the mayor’s deputies and council members, representatives of the Shalem Fund, the director of the Department of Social Affairs and Social Services Mazal Levy, the director of the Department of Culture, Youth and Sports Nimrod Galanta, employees of the Department of Sports, local athletes, volunteering youth, parents, graduates and students from special and regular education frameworks, and in total – about 350 participants

The event also included a performance by the musical group “the Pace of Peace”, activity stations such as floor games, paintball, information stands of organizations and associations working in the field, such as: Kehila Negisha, Mishlavim program, the Barzilai Hospital, nature-therapy, alongside stands of make-up and beauty for the event participants, an attraction for taking selfies, a stand for registration for auditions to a local musical band and more.

The Mayor said: The duathlon constitutes an opportunity for a unique and large municipal activity in favor of special populations, and raising awareness in the city for integrating them in all aspects of life. We believe that significant actions such as these are the key for changing awareness and for a true integration in society and we thank the Shalem Fund for supporting the event


The Shalem Fund Photographed Media Database    

The technology-rich information era has brought many opportunities in the field of education. In the last decade, there is increased use of videos as a tool for changing attitudes, learning, training and distributing knowledge. The uniqueness of filmed media is that it is an attractive tool and a means for focusing content and enabling training and learning at any given time, alongside being a tool for change. Videos also enable presenting cases, interviews, real-time reality or staged and themed situations

Simultaneous to investing in developing courses, trainings and seminars to professionals in the field of
developmental intellectual disabilities and expanding the academic research in the field, the Shalem Fund along with its partners, has begun allocating resources for producing media segments, filming lectures and translating videos from Israel and around the world, which are available for all persons dealing in the field. The videos in which the Fund is involved are varied, both in terms of the subjects and in terms of their target audiences. On the Shalem Fund website you fill find mapping of the filmed media segments products, edited and translated by the Fund

Download the database file


I Am a Person – North Dakota Filmed Testimony about the Experience of Going Out to the Community of People with developmental intellectual disabilities in the USA    

 In 1982, Judge Bruce Van-Sikla legislated a series of laws which changed the way in which North Dakota treats and takes care of its citizens with intellectual disabilities. Thousands of children and adults left the crowded dormitories and began integrating in communities all over the country. Thirty years later, the public broadcast authority Prairie Public in North Dakota, investigated with historic context, the implications and the results of the reform. The film “I Am a Person” meets the people affected most significantly from the change. It investigates what is possible when people with developmental intellectual disabilities receive all they require in order to lead a happy life in the community, and what happens when the awareness of their contribution to the community is gradually established, and how they even become part of the social capital


From 2015, the Division of Services for Persons with Development Disabilities at the Ministry of social affairs and Social Services has been leading the process of leaving the dormitories in favor of residence in the community. The goal was set for moving about 900 people currently living in dormitories, to residence in the community
The Shalem Fund has received the permission of the Prairie television network to edit segments of the film and translate them into Hebrew and Arabic, when the goal is to learn from the experience of other countries which have made a process of moving people with developmental intellectual disabilities from dormitory residence to residence and full integration in the community. The consultation and content editing was performed by Nili Ben-Dor, suprtvisor for the management of knowledge, religion and training at the Division of Services for Persons with Development Disabilities in collaboration with Sharon Ganot, director of information at the Shalem Fund

The editing, translation and title tracking were performed with the initiative and financing of the Shalem Fund. The three edited segments, To view them press here 


Producer : Kim Steenehjem, Editor: Heidi Nelson Original Music : Steve Wallevand & Tim Sparks    

©Prairie Public


A Professional Meeting on Quality Management (ISO 9001) In adult nursing day care centers and Employment Centers for People with Intellectual Disabilities in the Community    

 In the beginning of May this year, the College of Management held a professional meeting intended to present the quality management system (ISO 9001) in adult nursing day care centers and employment centers for people with intellectual disabilities in the community


The quality management system was developed over several years by the Shalem Fund in collaboration with the Division of Services for Persons with Development Disabilities, led by Dr. Yitzhak Tamuz.
The meeting was attended by managers and instructors in rehabilitation centers and day care centers, coordinators of the field of intellectual disabilities from a variety of authorities, CEOs of associations and supervisors in the districts and in the headquarters
The professional meeting is the result of cooperation between the service in the community, Division of Services for Persons with Development Disabilities and the Shalem Fund and it was held with the assistance and production of the College of Management with the academic coordination of Dr. Yitzhak Tamuz. The meeting’s goal was to expose the authorities, associations and organizations providing employment services and treatment to adults with intellectual disabilities, to the quality management system intended to enable the organization to have effective and gradual implementation of the ISO 9001 standard, in order to significantly improve all the organization’s activities. The standard is intended to provide constant improvement of the quality of service given by day care centers to adults requiring nursing treatments, and employment centers
This day constitutes another level in the Fund’s investment in recent years in the development and assimilation of a service quality management system, and the continuation of the process of training center managers on the subject, as well as producing the service quality management packages guiding and accompanying the process
All developed packages are available for free download on the Fund website
The Shalem Fund financed the seminar and was partner to its initiation and production

To the video presenting the success stories in the centers which began applying, implementing and assimilating the quality management system was introduced for the first time at the convention



Arabs with intellectual development disabilities in the jobs market: Attitudes and the blocks they engender , Dr. Khaled Abu-Asbeh, Al-Quasemi Academic College, Center for Research of Educational and Social Research Baka-al-Gharbia, 2016    

 This work was supported by a grant from Shalem Fund

Research participants were sampled in a stratified sample from 14 villages and towns, representing women and men from Arab society in Israel, relative to the geographical distribution of the Arab population in the northern, central and southern regions of Israel and relative to the size of the village or town in which they lived
There were 1,070 participants: 400 employers from the private sector, 400 employees working in private sector businesses and 270 parents from families with one or more children with intellectual development disabilities. The research was prompted by a lack of studies investigating the issue of employment for the mentally challenged in Israel in general and especially in the Arab population. The research aimed to provide a response to the lack of information on this issue and to investigate three issues relating to this subject
1.  Investigation of attitudes of the Arab population in Israel (employers, employees and parents of mentally challenged individuals) with regard to the possibility of employment for these individuals in the private sector.
2.  Examination of the influence of socio-demographic characteristics, the knowledge concerning intellectual development disabilities, the stigma and prejudices towards people with intellectual development disabilities and the contact with them on the attitudes of the Arab population in Israel (employers, employees and parents of individuals with intellectual development disabilities) towards the employment of these people.
3.   Analysis of the difficulties and the blocks that hinder the employment of people with intellectual development disabilities
This study belongs to a layer of studies on the micro-level and environment    and clarifies attitudes concerning the issue of the integration of individuals with intellectual development disabilities in society and in the workplace among families who have such a child, and employers and employees in the work force from Arab society in Israel
According to the research sample it appears that among Arabs in Israel the percentage of intellectually disabled at a mild or moderate level, who are not employed in institutional work and do not work in the private sector (as represented in the sample of families with intellectually disabled children) stands at 31% (37 out of 118 individuals with intellectual development disabilities), while 42% (49 out of 118) have an employment solution in the framework of treatment and rehabilitation centers that can be defined as “occupation without purposeful work”. On the surface it appears that as a rule, for most of the parents they have no perceptual block regarding the importance of work for their children’s lives. Yet, is this purely a declarative perception, a sort of “wishful thinking” expressing the parents’ recognition that integration of the child who is mentally challenged in a workplace is an indication of success that they would be happy to achieve (however in existing conditions for some of them it is clear that to achieve this would be beyond their powers)
In conclusion a micro-level analysis of the perceptions and attitudes of parents in families where there is an individual with intellectual development disabilities, concerning work possibilities for this population, indicates that this group is a weak link that should be reinforced as detailed in the recommendations section.  A second conclusion indicates that the state has not succeeded in standing up to its commitments regarding people with intellectual development disabilities in Arab society.  Out of all the employment solutions that the state has managed to organize, the proportion of placements which are less suitable and less desirable for people with intellectual development disabilities at a mild or moderate level is far too high. The fact that this failing is in line with the desires and preferences of parents is irrelevant, if the parents perception is not fitting for the good of their mentally challenged children (as noted at a mild or moderate level) actions should be taken to educate and improve parents’ attitudes and aspirations
The research findings also show that participants had low-medium positive perceptions of people with intellectual development disabilities. This is a trend to improvement in the previously negative image of the mentally challenged in Arab society that was reported in the previous decade. In comparison between the three researches groups (employers, employees and parents) it transpired that parents of mentally challenged children express attitudes that are least positive. This finding is consistent with previous research and naturally points up the need for a deeper investigation. Given the findings of this study, we recommend that a support group should be formed for the parents of children with intellectual development disabilities. A unique program should be constructed for this purpose, taking into account the social and cultural character of Arab society
We also suggest that thought should be given to ways in which to expand the range of solutions for genuine employment while reducing the perception of treatment centers as the default solution

        Consideration should be given together with the welfare departments in local Arab governments to providing new solutions for this problem.  Moreover it is recommended that a program should be constructed beyond the special education settings to prepare children for integration in the workplace. The model of “transitional employment” should be investigated to improve employability under less demanding conditions.  Efforts should be invested to find suitable employers (employment agencies in Arab society characterized by motivation to invest in building readiness for work life) and within the family itself if it has a business, to allow temporary and part-time work in preparation for absorption in permanent work positions
For the full text press here

A short video describing the study

Editing : Shay Shlomi, 2017

Family Members Experiences and Meanings of Livining and Ageing within a Family with Adult Child with Intellectual Disability , Tova Band Winterstein, Ph.D. , Tal Araten Bergman, Ph. D., Hila Avieli, Ph. D. Department of Gerontology and school of Social Work , Faculty of Welfare and Health Sciences, The Haifa University, 2017    

 This work was supported by a grant from Shalem Fund

Increased life expectancy in the general population, coupled with medical and ideological changes, has led to longer and fuller lives for people with intellectual disability (ID) in mainstream society.  Nowadays, more individuals with ID live and age within their family
The scholarly literature has traditionally addressed the study of the aging family, life course and disability as separate fields of inquiry. Furthermore, in general, research failed to capture the dimension of time and its dynamic implications on the family fabric and relations. Therefore, it is not surprising that nowadays scholars, professionals and disability rights activists call for exploring  the interplay between aging and family in a more integrative perception that attempts to capture the ways in which disability relate to the family roles and dynamics over time. In accordance to this novel call, the present study aim was to describe and analyze the different perspectives of family members in regards to their experiences of living with and alongside an adult child with ID
The study employed qualitative methods using the family as the unit of analysis. 10 aging family units were interviewed, with each unit comprised of three members: aging parent (age ranged between 61 to 89), an adult sibling (23 to 65 years old), and an adult child with ID (age ranged between 25 to 62). Families were recruited through health and social service, and community agencies. In addition, snowball techniques were also employed
Data was collected through face-to-face, semi-structured interviews held separately with each participant. The interviews were conducted using an interview guide designed specifically for each family member.  This guide included the following content areas:  the family and its relationships along the life course; life experience of having a family member with ID; aging of the family with a person with ID; a retrospective and prospective view
Analysis was conducted in two levels: the individual level (for each participant), and the holistic familial level. In accordance, findings are presented and discussed on these two parallel levels: first themes emerge of the analysis of the family as a whole, followed by an analysis of the perspective and experiences of the nondisabled siblings
The first level has yielded three major themes:  disability as managing family life or the family manages the disability across the lifespan and aging; transition to old age- coping strategies between continuity and change; unwanted gift or labor of love - retrospective gaze of family members on living and aging in a family with ID
The second level of analysis focuses on the unique perspective of siblings of the person with ID. The analysis revealed the following three themes: “am I a mother? , a sister?, a friend? a daughter?” multiple roles of siblings across the life course; “Ella moves aside now” - the sibling as the responsible adult in the aging family; “My mom is the only one knows how to handle him” - what does the future holds for the siblings
The study findings are discussed within the theoretical frameworks of the life course perspective and intergenerational theories. The analysis of the family perspective revealed that the storyline of the family is constructed over time around two transitional milestones. The first is the birth of the child with the ID and the second is the aging as a new arena for family coping. In these times, the family dynamic roles and fabric are renegotiated. The retrospective view reveals the complex and varied picture in which the commitment to care for the individual with ID relates to the identity of the person as ”internal child” and the parents as dealing with internal parenthood. This situation has vast implications on the interfamilial, generational and intergenerational relationships. Moreover, it seems that with the transition to old age, caring issues and roles are becoming more prominent. Family members are faced with more caring demands animating from deterioration in functional ability and health, which may result in increased burden of care. Finally, in this stage of family life, all members are involved in life review and meaning making processes, for the family as a whole and for each individual separately
The findings illuminate the need to address the family, not only as support and care resources for the person with disability, rather there is a need to acknowledge the family as an integral and holistic entity with unique and changing needs.  In order to promote the rights of all its members across their life course, it is crucial to develop and maintain an all-inclusive and sensitive service system across the lifespan. The service system should address the ever-changing family needs in the present and future. Designing and implementing interventions addressing aspects of care such as finance familial role transition, responsibilities and intergenerational commitment, and to assist in providing ongoing and sensitive support to all family members across their life course

For the full text press here

A Vocal Meeting Between Soprano Chen Reiss from Herzlia and the Group : Beyond the Voice    

The soprano Chen Reiss and choir members of “Beyond the Voice” held a joint artist workshop which constituted an initial and special professional meeting for both sides. Reiss, a musician, former dancer and esteemed opera singer who is considered one of the greatest sopranos in Israel and around the world, arrived voluntarily to the artist workshop with the group “Beyond the Voice” – a first-of-its-kind musical project, with the musical management of Uri Shachar and financed by the Shalem Fund, bringing together on one stage professional in the field of special needs and singers with developmental intellectual disabilities, who have come together for social activity and an enjoyable and professional musical experience, in order to remove barriers and prejudices alongside optimal integration in the community. Reiss and the choir members sang together in an emotional and inspirational meeting



The Shalem Fund initiates and finances the activity of : Beyond the Voice

 To order the choir, contact Uri Shachar on 052-2304979


Applying a system of standards to running a high-quality service for people with intellectual disabilities according to the ISO 9001 standard    

Service quality management package at Maas Network centers for people with developmental intellectual disabilities in accordance with ISO 9001 and Service quality management package in 21+ day centers, the treatment of disabled people
The Shalem Fund has promoted ISO 9001in various settings over many years. Excellence of service and quality of treatment, Especially of adults with intellectual and other disabilities, is a major, vital part of the fund's work. Helping workplaces comply with the ISO 9001 standard and creating a special standard customized for special workplaces. All these were done with assistance from the Shalem Fund, setting a new standard of quality for the treatment of people with disabilities

The Shalem Fund is privileged to be at the forefront of working for maximal support of people with disabilities and the people around them
The online versions of the service’s quality management package based on ISO 9001for day centers and Ma’as centers are available on the Shalem Fund’s website and in the knowledge community

This video showes a number of success stories 

Filming and Editing : Shay Shlomi, 2017


Warren's World: A great job and lots of Hobbies   Just like everyone else: interviews with our most precious partners  

Warren Kahn, a lively and charming 41-year-old man from Ra’ananna, has a busy schedule that includes work, cycling, going to the movies and preparing Shabbat dinners



Health Circles: A Healthy Lifestyle for Members of Social Clubs    

A study conducted in 2009 by Professor Yael Letzer and Arik Rimerman of the University of Haifa examined the correlation between obesity and lifestyle among people with D.I.D. The study, which funded by the Shalem Foundation, found that people with D.I.D. are much more susceptible to obesity than the general population

The Health Circles program, which grew out of this study, strives to provide people with D.I.D. who are active members of social clubs with the knowledge and tools to pursue a healthy lifestyle

Health Circles is a joint project of the National Insurance Institute’s Fund for Service Development for People with Disabilities, the Welfare Ministry’s Division for the Care of People with Developmental Intellectual Disabilities, the Shalem Foundation, the Israeli Association of Community Centers, and the National Association for the Habilitation of Children and Adults with Intellectual Disabilities (AKIM). It is a three-year program that brings in fifteen new clubs each year, for a total of 45 clubs since it began

The program’s coordinators undergo a training program that meets for eight sessions. There they receive theoretical and experiential knowledge and tools for working with the groups in the clubs. The program also includes open-house days for the participants’ families in order to involve them in the process

The first year, 2016, began with a coordinators’ training program that received highly positive responses

Club coordinators participating in the training program run the Health Circles program in clubs, where they teach principles of good nutrition, physical fitness and well-being, and personal hygiene

After nearly a year of piloting the program in 12 clubs with more than 200 participants, we are seeing positive results. Club members are gradually modifying their food choices and are more physically active

.Clubs participating in the program use an activity kit with various movement accessories and receive two years of professional guidance


In the photo : a workshop for food creation, while selecting healthy ingredients