Update: January 2009
It is always recommended to research the available services before making aliyah. AACI and your local shaliach can help, and the following resources should enable you to provide yourselves with a good deal of information. Please also see AACI's Information sheets on schools and useful addresses for municipality addresses and phone/fax numbers.
Special Education services, which are administered through individual municipalities, are free for children between the ages of 3 - 18 if they are in special education classes or schools. Special education services administered by non-municipal frameworks are not free in regular schools. Most cities and towns throughout Israel have a department for special education, whose Education Placement Bureau (Va’adat HaSama) assesses each case and helps make a decision as to the most appropriate educational placement.
It is important to remember to have photocopies of all medical reports, school reports and assessments.
Organizations and agencies that can be helpful:
Mercaz Harmony International Center for Inclusion is a special education organization that also maintains a web site, which includes a comprehensive section of Frequently Asked Questions on what's available and what's required in Israel. Mercaz Harmony's Project Outreach can provide special education case management from a-z, which assists families in their decision process of finding the right framework for their child without feeling totally isolated and overwhelmed.
Director: Joan Shrensky
POB 43208, Jerusalem 91431
Tel: 972 2 651 9929/651 9234
Fax: 972 2 652 8487
Outreach Program: Contact Shoshana Savyon, Tel: 072 2 622 3192
Rosh Pina is a mainstreaming network which was established in 1992 in order to foster acceptance and mutual respect between groups of children who are different. Rosh Pina serves approximately 1500 children at schools and community centers throughout Israel in a variety of ongoing integrative social activities. One of their projects is “Aliyah Support” - a service that, for a fee, assists families with a special-needs member planning aliyah by locating appropriate services and providing support groups. For further information:
Director: Chana Zweiter
Tel/Fax: 972 2 561 2072
Fax: 972 2 940 9501
Once in Israel the following organizations also offer services:
Kesher is an information, counseling and support center for parents of children with special needs. Kesher helps parents to get a tailor-made intervention with much emotional support to overcome the bureaucratic problems of a fragmented system of services. It provides a one-stop source of comprehensive and centralized information combined with a problem-solving approach sensitive to the complexity of parental needs. Kesher acts as a two-way bridge between parents and service providers.
Director: Tami Krispin
Rechov King George 27
Tel: 02 624 8852 or 02 623 6116
Partners with Parents is an educational consulting service which takes a unique approach to educational consulting for children with learning disabilities and/or ADHD who are struggling in mainstream schools with education and behavioral issues. Partners with Parents offers a wide range of service in order to empower parents to better understand and manage the educational needs of their children. Services offered are private consultations, private lessons, school advocacy, guidance for new olim and parent workshops.
Gayle Shimoff, MA, Learning Disabilities and Reading Specialist
Rechov Havatzelet 17/1
Beit Shemesh 99590
Tel: 02 999 4817
Tzachi is an organization whose aim is to see that the rights of all children with special needs in education are fulfilled. Tzachi works side by side with parents and trains them to be advocates, and represent parents whose children are called before the placement and appeals committee. Tzachi consults with professionals to evaluate the needs of the child and proceeds to look for the school best suited to the child's needs anywhere in the country.
Director: Chaya Jagoda -
Moshav Udim 42905
Tel: 09 865 5203
Fax: 09 865 9082
Aleh was established in 1982 by a group of parents determined to give their severely disabled children the best available care, as well as the opportunity to develop to their full potential.
Their approach and steadfast commitment has since changed the face of rehabilitative care in Israel. Today, Aleh is Israel’s largest network of residential facilities for children with severe physical and cognitive disabilities. Approximately 650 children throughout the country receive state-of-the-art medical, educational and rehabilitative care in four facilities: Jerusalem, Gedera, Bnei Brak and the Negev. In addition, Aleh provides some 32,000 outpatient sessions to children with milder disabilities who are able to live at home.
Thanks to Aleh, these children are able to live in much the same way as non-disabled children: by attending school, participating in vocational training programs, and enjoying activities such as swimming at the beach or touring the countryside. Integration programs and activities involving family, volunteers, school children and IDF soldiers promote acceptance and inclusion of the disabled within the community at large.
Bnei Brak 51103
Tel: 03 671 1888
Fax: 03 671 1880
The Chimes in Israel
The Chimes, one of the United States' largest and most respected non-profit agencies which assist people with developmental disabilities and other barriers to independent living. Chimes serve and support clients and their families with the following programs: Infant stimulation and early childhood intervention. Family support with caregivers to help them cope with the challenges which developmental disabilities can present. Day habilitation programs. Adult education and physical educational programs.
Rechov HaArad 13
Tel Aviv 69710
Tel: 03 644 5227/8
Fax: 03 644 5229