Beth David Institute operates two main projects: A Warm Home for Life - hostels for developmentally delayed and intellectually disabled women - which was founded in 1982 and The Center for Deaf-Blind Persons which was founded in 1989.MISSION STATEMENT
The Beth David Institute is dedicated to developing and promoting the care of specified populations and differently-abled citizens of Israel, in the spirit of the Torah.
Beth David Institute observes Kashrut and ShabbatENDORSEMENTS, SUPPORTERS, AND AWARDS
The Center for Deaf-Blind Persons has received letters of endorsement from Malik Gozovsky, Special Programs Coordinator, Ministry of Welfare and Professor Rimerman, Professor at the Faculty of Social Welfare and Health Studies, University of Haifa. Click here to see letters of endorsement.
The Center for Deaf-Blind Persons has received grants, among others, from the following: Israel Ministry of Welfare (annually since 1989), Israel National Insurance Institute (annually since 1989), Matan -- Your Way to Give (2008-2011), Fingerhut Foundation (2004, 2008), Levy Lessen Foundation (2004), The Ian Karten Charitable Trust (2005, 2007, 2010, 2011), Wolfson Family Charitable Trust (2004, 2006, 2009, 2011), The Sobell Foundation (2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011), The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010), JDC- Israel (2008), Hilfe für Blinde in Israel (annually since 2006), Emouna Foundation (2006, 2007, 2010, 2011), Jerusalem Foundation (2010, 2011), The Samuel Sebba Charitable Trust (2007-2011), Joint Distribution Committee (2007-8), Israel Friends of the Blind (2000-2007), Saban Family Foundation (2002, 2003), Knesset Foundation for the Disabled (2003, 2004), Gimprich Family Foundation (2003).
The center was featured articles in The Jerusalem Post, in Arutz Sheva and in YnetNews,com The Center's staff has also published professional articles in Deaf-Blind Perspectives in 2006 and in 2008
The Hostel Program: A Warm Home for Life for Special Women
The Beth David Institute maintains six group homes within the Mevaseret Zion community in which 77 older, developmentally disabled women live, 12-14 per house. Residents, who usually stay for life, work within the local community. Click here to see a letter of endorsement for the hostel program. In order to allow residents to stay in the community, Beth David is building, with the partial assistance of the National Insurance Institute, a fully accessible single level home for those women who can no longer manage stairs. Click here for Beth David's brochure on the new building. Operating expenses in 2011 amounted to approximately $2.6 million.
Health care The Beth David hostel program has a clinic, which coordinates all ongoing medical and preventative care for the residents. The clinic makes use of community resources such as local health clinics ("kupot cholim"- the Israeli version of HMO's) and special dental clinics. The clinic staff includes a family doctor, psychiatrist, registered nurses and a dietician. There is also a consulting staff that includes a physiotherapist, occupational therapist and speech therapist.
Respite program A respite program, operating within the residence, provides short-term accommodations for developmentally-disabled women who live with their families. This framework enables these families to take a vacation or have a respite from caring for their disabled member. Guests in the program participate in all activities and are cared for by the professional staff. In 2011 the program was typically full to its capacity.
Vocational skills Most of the residents work in a sheltered workshop or in a therapeutic plant nursery every morning. Both work sites are situated within walking distance to all of the residences. A vocational evaluation carried out by an occupational therapist determines the abilities and needs of each resident. On the basis of this evaluation, residents are placed in a suitable program of work, for example sorting, packing, assembling, gardening and creating artistic works. Some of the work is provided by manufacturers and distributors, and other projects are initiated and marketed by Beth David itself. The women receive a salary for their work, and participate in group outings to the local shopping mall where they can spend the money they've earned. Several women work in the open market, for example at a local bakery.
Leisure, culture, and religious activities In the afternoon, the residents participate in courses and workshops that are appropriate to their needs and abilities. These include sports, yoga, computers, music, art, etc. There are also outings within the community, such as bowling, picnics, going to the gym, horseback riding, concerts, shopping, etc. Once a year, the residents go on a three-day vacation together to a hotel or resort at a different location in Israel. Jewish holidays are celebrated and women who wish, attend Shabbat and holiday services at a local synagogue. They hear kiddush in their residences and partake of holiday meals. On Shabbat, they can choose to participate in activities such as discussions about the weekly Torah reading, leisurely walks and visits to friends in other residences.
The Center for Deaf Blind Persons
The Center for Deaf-Blind Persons serves Israelis who are both deaf (or hearing impaired) and blind (or visually impaired). The Center for Deaf Blind Persons initiates, develops and provides a range of programs and services for this population, which is estimated at approximately 1,200 individuals. Operating expenses in 2011 amounted to approximately $364,000:
Ulpan for Deaf-Blind New Immigrants teaches Hebrew to immigrants to Israel, mostly from the former Soviet Union. Since the ulpan opened in 1994, more than 70 new immigrants have participated in the program for periods ranging from one to two years. Eight deaf-blind individuals have graduated from the program in the past year.
Jewish Identity Program. Participants in this program learn about Jewish traditions, and Jewish and Israeli history via classes and tours. Approximately 20 participants. Click here for an update of activities prepared by Beth David.
Social Recreational Club Provides social center for deaf-blind persons in which they learn and practice self-help and leadership skills. The club involves more than 60 deaf-blind participants and volunteers.
Role Model Program for Children with Usher Syndrome. School children and young adults - all of whom have Usher Syndrome - learn together. In this program young adults - usually university students with deaf-blindness - are taught to (a) act as positive role models for the children, (b) to gradually teach them about Usher Syndrome and what to expect, and (c) to prepare them, both emotionally and cognitively, to live independent lives in the future. The program is coordinated by one staff member and currently includes about four role models and over 10 children. It was presented in the spring of 2010 at the first Israeli conference on children with deaf-blindness and visual impairments combined with other disabilities, which was co-sponsored by Massachusetts-based Perkins School for the Blind. Click here for an update of program activities prepared by Beth David.
Learning Center Deaf-blind individuals with Usher Syndrome study alternative methods of communication and computer skills while they still retain some vision, and prepare for eventual total blindness. In the first (40 week) stage of the program, students are taught basic computer literacy and operation. Some continue on to touch typing on a Braille keyboard, and then learn to communicate via e-mail with the help of Braille displays and keyboards. Others work on mastering the operation of CCTV's to read enlarged texts, and using enlargement programs to master the basic use of computers. Learning Center activities are coordinated by a social worker, and staffed by about eight part-time teachers, several of whom have Usher Syndrome themselves; themselves; 20 students are enrolled. The Learning Center is a member of the Karten CTEC (Computer-aided Training, Education & Communication) Network which includes over 100 centers, most of which are located in the UK. The center has small branches in Ashdod and Haifa.
Retaining Independence in the Face of Deaf-Blindness This is a special program for women with deaf-blindness which combines emotional and practical assistance, including participation in a structured long-term support group and individualized in-depth career assessment, a personalized study program and assistance in job placement. About 12 women participate.
Outreach Program The outreach program will find and assess the needs of the hidden deaf-blind people in Israel, and thereby enable the center to assist them in a wide variety of ways. The majority of this population has Usher Syndrome, a genetic condition involving both hearing loss from birth and the gradual loss of vision throughout life. This program is under development.