The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, Ruderman Family Foundation, and government of Israel have announced grants totaling $12.5 million to expand the Israel Unlimited Partnership, which assists and advocates for Israeli citizens with disabilities.
Led by a $4 million grant from the Ruderman Family Foundation in Newton, Massachusetts, the funding will be used to expand work opportunities, housing, and services for Israeli adults with disabilities. Specifically, the funding will be used to provide accessible housing and services that promote independent living, expand person-centered services, focus on underserved groups like the ultra-Orthodox, and develop projects that help adults with disabilities cope with loneliness. In addition, the partnership will launch a series of public awareness campaigns that reinforce the integral role of people with disabilities as Israeli citizens.
Israel is home to nearly one million adults with disabilities, 20 percent of whom have moderate to severe disabilities. "We want Israel to be second to none in its inclusion of people with disabilities throughout society," said Jay Ruderman, president of the Ruderman Family Foundation. "Our strategic effort has enabled the implementation of nationwide change through innovative programs that ensure, above all, that people with disabilities are full members of Israel's national tapestry. As we move into our next phase, we will build on our past successes and further promote the notion that people with disabilities are people with abilities."