Seventy Jewish National Fund supporters gathered at the home of Jodi and David Pollack in Woodmere last Sunday to support JNF’s Task Force on Disabilities.The event raised funds and awareness for the work that is being done by the task force on behalf of the special needs community in Israel.
During the parlor meeting, guests heard from Lt. Col. Tiran Attia, director of Special in Uniform, as well as Israel Defense Forces Major Ricki Golan, who shared her story of overcoming the challenges of cerebral palsy to rise to the rank of Major in the IDF.
“We are grateful to those who joined us on Sunday for such an inspirational morning in support of JNF’s work in Israel for people with special needs,” said David Pollack. “We hope that everyone in attendance was moved by our speakers, and that they were left with a better understanding of the important work JNF is doing in Israel to make sure that no one is left behind.”
A new and exciting partnership was announced during the event between JNF’s Task Force on Disabilities and Kulanu Academy. Kulanu’s mission complements that of JNF’s work with the special needs community perfectly
Kulanu Academy is an organization in Cedarhurst that serves children and adults with special needs. Through their all-encompassing services in New York and Israel, they strive to enable each individual to reach his or her full potential, empowering each one to become a participating and accepted member of society, with a good quality of life and a hopeful future.
JNF provides cutting-edge rehabilitative services, special education, and medical care for people with special needs and makes its forests, parks, picnic areas, playgrounds, nature trails, lookouts and recreational facilities inclusive for visitors of all ability levels. JNF’s Task Force on Disabilities serves as an umbrella and coordinating body to support these partnerships in an effort to enhance their strength, fiscal viability, and effectiveness.
For a number of years Kulanu Academy has sent a group of high school graduates to spend several months in Israel so they may have a “Gap Year” experience.
As part of its new partnership with JNF, the participants in the Kulanu trip this fall will spend time on an army base with a JNF sponsored Special in Uniform unit and visit the LOTEM-Making Nature Accessible site. Special in Uniform integrates youth with disabilities into the IDF and assists in preparing them for careers following army service. LOTEM offers field trips, accessible hikes and creative workshops in nature for people of all ages with physical, mental and emotional disabilities, at-risk youth, and mothers and children living in shelters.
The event was chaired by Yardena and Geoffrey Miller, Jodi and David Pollack, Sarah and Arnie Waldman, and Helen and Jacob Weichholz.
For more information about the crucial work that JNF is doing to improve the lives of all Israelis, please contact Yossi Kahana, Director of the Task Force on Disabilities at firstname.lastname@example.org or 212-879-9305 ext. 240.