President of Israel visits Beit Issie Shapiro
President Rivlin visited Beit Issie Shapiro in Ra’anana in support of special education, which continues to run as normal
President Rivlin to the special education teachers and staff who continue to work as normal during corona:
“You are an anchor in the storm. Thanks to you, we are building a better, more accessible and fairer society for all Israelis.”
President of Israel Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin today, Tuesday 12 January / 28 Tevet, visited Beit Issie Shapiro in Raanana in support of special education, which continues to run as normal. He was escorted on his visit by CEO of Beit Issie Shapiro Amir Lerner, and founder and Israel Prize Laureate Naomi Stuchiner.
Beit Issie Shapiro provides innovative therapies and state-of-the-art services for children and adults across the entire range of disabilities, impacting on over half a million people annually and promotes social change though a three-pronged approach: development and provision of cutting-edge services, changing attitudes in society and advocating for better legislation, and sharing knowledge throughout Israel, as well as internationally, through research, consultation and training.
During his visit, the president was briefed on the organization and its ongoing educational activities during the lockdown. He then visited the various therapeutic facilities, including the sensory stimulation room, where occupational therapist Ongi Kaplan-Gal was working with one-year old Eitan, who has cerebral palsy. “The reason we are working in this room is that we can adapt it to Eitan’s sensory needs. Here, we can help meet his developmental needs,” she explained.
The president then participated in Mayar’s math lesson with the students, where he solved problems with them and thanked the staff for their dedicated work. He then went to a gym lesson in the yard with another class and spoke to the parent of a child who is treated at Beit Issie about the cooperation between parents and faculty.
“These are complex times. A period of health concerns and economic and social difficulties. It is at times like this that your work is more important than ever. In a time of confusion and anxiety, Beit Issie Shapiro provides an accepting and welcoming environment for children with disabilities. For them, you are an anchor in the storm,” said the president. “The professionalism, the sense of mission, your belief in every single child, are the best example you can give to the young people you work with.”
Speaking to the staff of Beit Issie, he said, “Over your many years of activity, the name Beit Issie Shapiro has become synonymous with equality, innovation and inclusion. Thanks to the dedicated work of organizations like yours, the issue of disability has become more prominent on the public agenda in recent years. We must be aware not only of the needs of people with disabilities, but also of their abilities and skills.”
“Israeli society as a whole is committed to the welfare of people with disabilities. As we have learned in this current crisis, we are all responsible for each other. I congratulate you on establishing this new center for sensory therapy for children and infants with disabilities. Thanks to you, we are building a better, more accessible and fairer society for all Israelis.”
Amir Lerner, CEO of Beit Issie Shapiro, said that the coronavirus pandemic had emphasized the need to work professionally and with innovation in order to empower children and adults with disabilities. “The corona restrictions created new needs that Beit Issie Shapiro responded to, and led to a step-change in technological, therapeutic and emotional aspects of our work. Thank you, Mr. President, for choosing to come and visit us during the lockdown, to show your support for the teams who continue to work here uninterrupted to give full support to children and adults with disabilities and their families. Thank you, too, for your many years of working for the rights of people with disabilities in society.”