In January, Canadian disabilities rights advisor Harvey Goldberg visited Ra’anana, Israel to share his expertise with senior leadership at Beit Issie Shapiro, Israel’s leading disabilities organization. He also spoke to Israeli social work students and long-standing Israeli disabilities activists who work closely with Beit Issie Shapiro.
Beit Issie Shapiro was recently selected as an advisor on disabilities to the United Nations and is one of only 12 Israeli organizations to have ‘Special Consultative Status’. Last year Beit Issie Shapiro was also named Israel’s most effective non profit organization in efficiency monitor Midot’s inaugural annual award.
Mr. Goldberg, Strategic Initiatives Team Leader at the Canadian Human Rights Commission’s Knowledge Centre, helped to draw up the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This Convention seeks to protect the rights and dignity of people with disabilities, and ensure their full equality under the law. Mr Goldberg is active in Canadian and international efforts to ensure the effective and timely implementation of the Convention.
“Harvey Goldberg’s experience is invaluable and we are very grateful to him for collaborating with us on such an important issue” says Shosh Kaminsky, Community and Knowledge Development Director of Beit Issie Shapiro, which will help lead the implementation of the Convention in Israel. “Sharing knowledge between Canada and Israel can only be to the benefit of children with disabilities in both our countries.”
“The Convention is founded on the principles of inclusion, autonomy, equality and respect” said Mr. Goldberg. “Beit Issie Shapiro embodies these principles in its programs to give both Jewish and Arab children with disabilities the strong foundations they need to live productive and independent lives in the community” he said.
Mr. Goldberg said Beit Issie Shapiro’s focus on research-based programs, the establishment of rigorous standards and the dissemination of its program models throughout Israel is a good example for Canadian organizations to follow. “We have a lot to learn from Israel,” he concluded.