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CIRCLES Beit Issie Shapiro’s Newsletter Autumn 2008

Happy New Ye ar ‫בה‬

‫שנה טו‬

“Beit Issie Shapiro provides Ori with a loving home, a safe haven and a developmental boost” Avigail, mother of Ori Shoshani

Dear Friends, Beit Issie Shapiro symbolizes for me an oasis in a desert where people come from all walks of life, different backgrounds, religions and cultures with no barriers and a common objective - to make this world better for their children. It is an organization that is changing the playing field for all developmentally disabled children in Israel.  Beyond providing the best care by their dedicated staff, Beit Issie has for years lobbied to change legislation to provide more resources for these children and their families. This culminated recently in a change in the law whereby all severely disabled children under the age of three are now entitled to receive services they desperately need.  Caron Bielski I am proud to have been a part of this organization for almost 20 years. It has been a privilege to have worked with their outstanding management team and staff whose dedication never ceases to amaze me. I thank our ever supportive Board of Directors for their time and assistance. And most importantly, a big thank you to you too - our friends and supporters.  Wishing you Shana Tova, may the next year bring you success, health, happiness and peace. ‫ין‬,‫מדברי ג‬ Caron Bielski Board chairperson Beit Issie Shapiro Greetings from Naomi Stuchiner, President-CEO, International Dear Friends

There are those special occasions at Beit Issie Shapiro which leave a long-lasting feeling of immense satisfaction – the opening and renovation of our new center was one of them!

I have such joy, at long last, to see our young children benefit from the space and facilities they need, to grow, develop, learn and discover the world around them. For years we’ve been talking of having to expand … of needing room to house their special equipment … of making their nurseries more roomy, more accessible and ergonomic … of improving their outdoor play facilities. And now our children and staff have the very best facility in which to spend so many hours each day!

I glory in the contemplation of how many people in so many parts of the world made this development possible. It amazes and delights me to know that our children are surrounded by such a wellspring of kindness and compassion. Thank you all!

The opening event itself was more than I could have imagined. Not only did our donors come to share our joy, but so did so many people who have contributed to making Beit Issie Shapiro the ‘home’ it is today: parents of children, professionals who’ve worked for us over the years, our incredible team who make these new facilities shine with their excellent skills, dedication and love - and the representatives of the many organizations that support and contribute to our services, benefit from them and enrich them. It means so much to our family to have our father’s vision so vitally implemented and associated with this huge and caring family. On this Rosh Hashana I thank you for making yourself part of Beit Issie Shapiro and making our ‘home’ – your home too! May you be blessed with a healthy, happy and peaceful New Year.

With warm regards, Naomi Stuchiner


“Leaves of Life and Hope” – the splendid mosaic wall in the entrance to Beit Issie Shapiro’s central lobby, was gifted by Amnon Shoshani and Eilon Mosaics. Its strong design expresses the continuity of values, realized first in South Africa and nurtured to form creative new branches in Israel. The symbol is the Menorah – historic symbol of the people of Israel; a people who have always been inspired to reach for light and hope. Dedication Leaves are available in 3 levels: Gold Leaves - $2,000 Silver Leaves - $1,500 Bronze Leaves - $1,000 For more information, please contact Vicki Leviner (


From Dream to Reality – We Open Beit Issie Shapiro’s New Facilities!

When Beit Issie Shapiro was established in 1980, it provided daycare, education and treatment for a small number of children with moderate to severe mental retardation. However, over the years the organization’s scope has expanded enormously with – today, some 20,000 people annually being impacted by a wide range of activities.

The original structure built in Raanana in 1987, had been continually stretched, accommodating to growing needs and a widening focus which now includes community outreach and education, research and professional training. It became essential to upgrade the facilities to create the kind of physical environment that would best nurture the development and wellbeing of people with special needs. Beit Issie Shapiro’s 25th anniversary launched an extensive building campaign including the construction of a new floor to house a Community Outreach department and Child and Family Therapy Center. This freed space to expand our facilities Beit Issie Shapiro, Raanana - 2008 for young children and

build a new dental clinic. Many improvements were made, based on an in-depth investigation of the needs.

Beit Issie Shapiro, Herzliya 1981-1987

Pictorial color coded and multi-lingual signs support accessibility

The re-development of the Beit Issie Shapiro building is the outcome of a creative partnership between colleagues, representatives of the government, NGO’s, donors, volunteers and friends. It expresses the investment of far-sighted donors from different parts of the world committed to providing a better future for children and adults with special needs for many years to come. With an insightful gift from an anonymous donor, Beit Issie Shapiro has been able to invest in developing signs that will make the building accessible to all. Universal pictures have been used to denote the use of facilities and rooms, thus enabling people who cannot read, to find their way throughout the building.

Excerpts from Israel’s leaders at the official opening “...Beit Issie Shapiro isn’t just another organization. It is spearheading a revolution. It is an organization whose top priority is progress and which, with relatively limited resources and a supreme effort and lots of giving and Minister of Welfare and Social partnership, you see amazing things taking shape right Services, Mr. Itzchak Hertzog before our eyes; things that didn’t exist a generation ago.... to tell you the truth, this wouldn’t have come to pass if only the government was involved.   It has come to pass thanks to entrepreneurs and leaders … it has come to pass thanks to generous donors and foundations and partners and employees. This partnership has produced this revolution”. Mr. Itzchak Hertzog. 

The event was attended by several dignitaries, amongst them (l-r) Mr. Jules Trump, Chief Rabbi Lau, Rabbi Firer, Minister of Welfare and Social Services, Mr. Itzchak Hertzog, City Mayor Nahum Hofri and Municipal Counselor Bella Tzur

“Our vision and decision to turn the city of Raanana into a city accessible to all populations was also due mainly to you...” Mr. Nahum Hofri. Mayor of Raanana City, Mr. Nahum Hofri

Official ribbon cutting ceremony. L-R: City Mayor Nahum Hofri, Neighborhood Chairman Gabi Hasson, Executive Director Jean Judes, Rabbi Lau and President, CEOInternational Naomi Stuchiner.


NEWS FROM ISRAEL LEADING INTERNATIONAL COMPANIES SUPPORT BEIT ISSIE SHAPIRO 2008 saw two exciting new partnerships established between leading international companies and Beit Issie Shapiro (Alpha Romeo and Nestle).

Nestle Ice-cream and Supersol Sweet Summer Campaign In time for summer, Nestle Ice-cream launched its Sweet Summer Campaign, in which Supersol and Nestle have contributed a shekel for every family pack of ice-cream bought in supermarkets throughout Israel. As Yehudi Lipman, CEO says: “Nestle Ice-cream is committed to contributing to the community …we work to advance leadership and excellence in the industry; values that characterize Beit Issie Shapiro and make it a model in Israel and throughout the world. We are privileged to be partners with Beit Issie Shapiro in building a better future for children and adults with disabilities.” Alpha Romeo – “A sporty heart that beats with generosity” Two years ago, a warm partnership was forged between Alpha Romeo and Beit Issie Shapiro based on the belief of the Samlat Company (importers of Alpha Romeo) that an organization operating within a community, including its employees and consumers, is obliged to strengthen this community and spearhead positive change. In this spirit, they are donating 1% of the value of every new car sold by Alpha Romeo to the special children of Beit Issie Shapiro. Virtual Shareholders Dinner In June, the 9th annual “Virtual Shares” meeting was held under the auspices of Irith Rappaport and Boris and Barbara Krasny of the “Policy” company. Of central concern was the importance of supporting and empowering families of children with special needs so that they can live normal and full lives. The audience enjoyed the charming hospitality of the French ambassador and his wife and the delightful singing of Noga, a singer from Switzerland. She was later joined by Danni Litanni and his jazz ensemble – making it a fantastic evening for all!

Circle of Friends - Malcolm Zaidel Music Therapy Program We are pleased to announce the launch of

a circle of friends supporting the Malcolm Zaidel Music Therapy Program. Malcolm Zaidel, ‫ז”ל‬, was not only a wonderful cantor, but a generous and charitable man who cared about children. His wife Pam, their children and their friends have chosen to honor his memory by naming Beit Issie Shapiro’s important music therapy program after him. Every year a special concert is held with leading artists and the “Ramatayim Yerushalayim” and “Tree of Life” choirs. This year they were joined by Rami Kleinstein and Shlomo Gronich – adding a unique touch. In October, the Circle of Friends will hold a Kabbalat Shabbat at Beit Issie Shapiro. If you’d like to participate, please contact Bat-Sheva Regev on 09 7701238 (email: At the Virtual Shareholder Dinner

L-R: Jules Trump, Ze’ev Abeles, Nili and Yehudi Lipman Jean Judes, Stephanie Trump with Jean Judes

Irith Rappaport, Glen Perry, Bruce and Ruth Rappaport, Boris & Barbara Krasny

International Visitors to Beit Issie Shapiro We welcomed a bumper number of visitors from abroad USA • Plafkin Family - Sigalit, Leeor & Maya - CA • Iris Sperber - CA • Taffy Stern - CA • Judy Mark & daughter - CA • Michal Swerdlow & Tony Tyre - CA • Marcy & Carmel Stempler - CA • Eric and Rishelle Maman - CA • Shel Pink and family - CA • Norma and Helman Todes - CA • Tara Reisbaum - CA • Rabbi Plavin & 32 congregants - NJ • Stan Goldman (Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Foundation) - MD • John Bussel - FL • Greater Miami Jewish Federation Leadership Mission - FL • Shelley & Ruvan Cohen - NY


• • • • •

MJ Kanner - NY Toby Lebovitch & Barry Prizant - NY Evan Wertheim – NY / ISR De Lowe Family & friends (Alan & Yoletta Liebertal, Carol & Ron Spiegel) - USA Hanna Tollman - USA

South Africa • Leaza Cowan UK • Rachel Silver, JNF • Lalla Hurst • Debra Raye INDIA • Shashank Paranjape AUSTRALIA • Gloria Goldstein (accompanied by Shula Tzeda, Israel)

Beit Issie Shapiro’s newly renovated building: the highest standards of accessibility Background As a leading service provider for children and adults with special needs, Beit Issie Shapiro is challenged to ensure that all its facilities are user-friendly. This includes: l Physical accessibility, i.e. ease of independently getting to treatment rooms and using all amenities, l Navigation accessibility - the ability to find one’s way around the building. This refers to the importance of having friendly and logical signs, l Social accessibility – the right of people with special needs to be included in the mainstream community. The Law of Equal Opportunities obligates all service providers to pay attention to the issue of accessibility. Since Beit Issie Shapiro regards itself as a “learning and teaching” organization, we thus planned the renovation to achieve the highest standards of accessibility, making it easy for those with special needs to access all public amenities and facilities and make use of them as autonomously as possible. An In-depth study of accessibility issues Our team investigating this issue comprised: l Accessibility experts – in particular those working in our municipality l Parents and people with disabilities l Service providers, including physical and occupational therapists, experts in sensory disabilities and ergonomic adaptations, psychologists and social workers l Specialist organizations such as Micha (hearing disabilities) and Eliya (visual disabilities) l Color, lighting and acoustic specialists. Physical Accessibility Based on their guidance, adaptations in the new building have included… l Floors, surfaces and corridors that are easily navigated l Nearby parking for those with disabilities l Counters and working surfaces, observation windows and public telephones installed at heights reachable by people in wheelchairs l Full spectrum natural lighting that minimizes flicker l Attention to color and other stimuli to reduce disturbance and irritability l Railings and ramps that give support l An elevator access that “speaks” in addition to providing visual information.

Support hand-rails, accessible elevators and clearly defined steps with grips ensure that the building is easily maneuverable Signage Since there are 4 main ‘buildings’ in the complex, it was decided to color code the signs in each section in order to make it easier for people to locate the services they need. In addition, on the advice of our alternative communication specialist, we put up universally understood picture signs showing the functions of the rooms. Social Accessibility The issue of social accessibility and ‘inclusion’ are promoted through all our programs and activities. These range from the placement of Beit Issie Shapiro in the center of the community, the opening of the first inclusive – accessible park in Israel, and the adaptation of many programs to bring our children into contact with other regular children and people.

Many of our children participate in social integration programs in regular school frameworks We thank all those who contributed to our understanding of the impact of the physical and social environment on well-being and who made the concept of accessibility so important in this new building.


Each Small Step Is Enormous Progress (Translation of an article by Miriam Ein Dor Riftin, in the Ha’aretz newspaper)

“Before Tal was born, I didn’t know what it meant to care for disabled children even though I had been socially active and contributed to the community,” says Nir Brunstein, President and CEO of Poalim Capital Markets and father of beloved eight-year-old Tal, who has autism and mental retardation. “From the moment I understood what was facing me, I decided to be open about it - there are a great number of children amongst us with special needs.” We are having this chat a few days after the courageous celebrity appearance of Lihi Lapid on the prestigious prime-time TV program of Ilana Dayan. Lihi exposed her personal story of having a child with special needs. Without doubt, this interview helped to increase public awareness of children with special needs and their families. “It is hard to judge or criticize other parents for not being open,” says Brunstein…. “my wife Dalit and I decided never to hide Tal or be ashamed of her. We take her everywhere with us.” Nir & Dalit deliberated for a long time whether or not to reveal details of their daughter and family life prior to being interviewed by a leading newspaper.

“This had tremendous social and personal repercussions. In making up my mind on whether to expose our situation, I asked myself what Tal would advise us to do, and in my mind, I heard her saying – ‘Daddy, go for it’!” Putting Things into Perspective “Tal was a beautiful baby, with no indications of any special problems. Only after she came home following several weeks in the premature baby unit, we noticed that she never cried or made a sound and had less eye contact with her surroundings than expected. We could have bemoaned our misfortune and closed ourselves off from the world. But we chose to continue to live and enjoy life as much as possible”. The Sanctity of Beit Issie Shapiro Nir emphasizes that Tal is a happy child. “There is a great disparity between her physiological age and her cognitive development. My strong and courageous wife understands and communicates with Tal wonderfully, though Tal doesn’t speak”. During the day, Tal attends Beit Issie Shapiro. “This is


the best facility in the world,” Brunstein declares, “a magical world, a sanctuary that welcomes with open arms children with special needs and their families. It is an immense and wonderful undertaking, based on spiritual and educational beliefs. Each child benefits from the warmth and expertise of its professional staff who understand that - not only the child, but his whole social environment - needs support.” The State’s Close-Mindedness and the Shame Brunstein acknowledges that there is no perfect solution to the challenges of people with autism and mental retardation, but the way that the State deals with the subject is not helpful. Not only does it not allocate the necessary funds, it can block increased budgeting. “In the case of Tal, who is both autistic and mentally retarded, the State makes us choose between these two disabilities and that’s the one it recognizes. A person with a disability has to have his or her authorization constantly renewed and past recognition does not guarantee future entitlements.” Brunstein is outraged at the minuscule and unjust State allocation, a paltry sum of 2,000 shekels (approx US$550) for a child with 100% disability.

Sad, but also happy moments “Our biggest worry” Brunstein says, “ is the future, when we are longer around to take care of Tal. But we try not to look too far ahead. Tal is an integral, painful and pleasurable part of our lives. Every time she responds to me, I have moments of joy – and sadness.” Brunstein also talks about the wonderful encouragement that he and Dalit receive from close friends, family and colleagues. “Some of the burden falls on them and without their support coping would be even harder.” It is important for Brunstein to speak about his other children, Tal’s siblings: five year old Noam and five month old, Roi. He recalls that Noam’s first word was ‘Tal’. Without doubt, their lives will be more complex than those of other children, but hopefully they will learn from an early age to identify the truly important things in life. Adds Nir, “I am aware of the risk I take in revealing our story. But, perhaps, in its telling, some influential people will place the need for awareness of weak and disadvantaged populations high on their agenda. Hopefully more people will open their arms, their hearts and their pockets and contribute increased funding for the sacred task of caring for our children.”

INTERNATIONAL NEWS NEW YORK “A Taste of Israel” - New generation Supporters In mid-august, over 200 people got together for a social winetasting event; the first in a series of events to engage the next generation in supporting the work of the organization. Connecting through “Facebook” Do you know you can support Beit Issie Shapiro through Facebook? Over 600 people have already joined the AFOBIS Facebook page. Look out for the random “Tzedakah Challenges” (our first one raised thousands of dollars in just a few days!). Invite your friends to join our cause, too! Check out the new AFOBIS website and make your donations online . Its easy - give it a try… even better, you can set up a regular monthly gift! Our address: FLORIDA Thank you to Alexandra Ghitelman, Sara Alvarez-Levey, Lorena Klahr, Erica Neumark, Sarah Espiedra and Fabiana Bernal, students of the Jacobson Sinai Academy, North Miami Beach, for their tzedakah contributions to our special children. Welcome to Stephanie Nagus, new FL Regional Director and John Bussel, new Chairman of the Florida Chapter. Good luck to his team including wife Laura, and friends Sandrine and Joel Matus, Nicola Trump and Mark Roth, who will be hosting a family barbeque at the Acqualina Resort. WELCOME TO NEW MEMBERS OF OUR TEAM:

CALIFORNIA: Bnai Mitzva ‘happenings’: How creative is this? Harris, Zach and Jonah (l-r) recently held a “Bark Mitzvah”, raising close to $6000 for their friends at Beit Issie Shapiro. The boys wanted to do something different to raise community awareness so they sponsored a ‘barkmitzva’, marching with their friends and dogs in a local park. Later they came with family and friends to Israel to celebrate and bring their gifts. l Ilana Spiegel made a quilt (with her Bubbie Marilyn) for Ela a child at BIS. l Courtney Adams twinned with Avital of Beit Issie Shapiro and celebrated with her in Israel l Gaby and Jonathan Fazio, with their cousin Courtney Adams donated their Bnai Mitzvah Tzedakah l Lauren Monk gave Tzedakah for her Bat Mitzvah. “RETURN” theatre event A fundraiser held in mid July in Los Angeles featured “Return”, a new musical choreographed and directed by 5 time Tony Award Nominee Donald Mckayle.  Carole Perl (l) with Myra & (Music: William Kevin Anderson, Script and Lyrics: Dennis Monk (r) Sonia Levitin)

UNITED KINGDOM, UKFOBIS We are pleased to announce that the UKFOBIS will now be operating independently of the JNF. We thank the JNF, UK for their support over the years and particularly, Marc Green for all his assistance. Gifts can now be handled directly through our office. Stephanie Nagus – Regional Director, Florida

John Bussel, new Chairman of Florida Chapter

Jon Landsman - Regional Director UKfobis

Dr. Greg Lee, LA Board

HOD Does It Again! The HOD Bingo Evening returned in July, once again expertly organised by UKFOBIS board member Alex Beare. The money raised from the event at Hasmonean Girls School (Hendon) went to several charities and over $40,000 was donated to BIS. Partying down the Thames… The “Beit Young Professionals” held their second ‘Tipsy on the Thames’ party aboard the Erasmus cruiser, partying their way past famous London landmarks to raise money. To find out more about the UK Friends, please email us at


Reflections on Beit Issie Shapiro`s impact in the field of disabilities: the top ten achievements. Jean Judes, Executive Director

2008 has been a year of celebration. It is the year we opened our new extended and renovated building and had pause to review some the many major contributions our organization has made. Here is our top ten list … l Recently, Beit Issie Shapiro made its most exciting achievement for the year! On the last day of the Knesset in July (before the annual break), the extension of the Early Intervention Law was passed with a resounding majority. The revised law ensures the provision of intensive treatment for all children with serious disabilities over the age of 6 months – this is a major breakthrough and comes about as the result of the work of the coalition of 60 organizations that Beit Issie Shapiro leads. From now on, we are proud to say that every child that needs intensive daily intervention will be entitled to it by right. l The original law was passed in 2000 and was based on BIS’s model. 70 early intervention centers have since been established in Israel. l Beit Issie Shapiro set up the first multisensory room in Israel. There are now over 350 multi-sensory therapy (Snoezelen) rooms country-wide treating people with developmental disabilities, as well as Alzheimer’s, cancer and trauma patients. Beit Issie Shapiro is an international leader in research and training in this field. l Beit Issie Shapiro set up the first specialized hydrotherapy centre for people with special needs. Today there are 70 hydrotherapy pools in Israel, and 950 professionals have been trained in our teaching institute. l We set up Israel’s first accessible and inclusive playground: Park Chaverim equalized the playing field for young children with special needs. We are now giving consultation to 15 local authorities interested in establishing similar facilities. l The Trump International Institute of Continuing Education in Developmental Disabilities provides 3,000 students and service-givers annually with specialized training. l The Trump International Institute’s unique Special University provides a range of educational opportunities annually to 200 adults with severe learning and adjustment disabilities. l In collaboration with JDC and Ashalim, Beit Issie Shapiro is developing an innovative service model for families with special needs in Sderot and the North. l Over 47 academic articles have been published by Beit Issie Shapiro professionals. l The support of all our friends and colleagues in Israel and abroad has enabled BIS to achieve these milestones. We look forward to further development in the coming year. In 2007, Beit Issie Shapiro impacted on the lives of 19,456 children, adults and families: 188 children received therapeutic daycare services, 5,191 children and adults received outpatient services, 11,181 children and adults participated in our community programs, 2,516 students enrolled in our training courses, 450 participants in educational tours.

Contact Us ISRAEL


President, CEO International: Naomi Stuchiner Executive Director: Jean Judes Ministry of Interior Non-Profit Organization #: 58007-185-0


Issie Shapiro St. P.O. Box 29, Ra’anana 43100, Israel Tel: +972 9 770 1222 Fax: +972 9 771 0465 E-mail: Website:


New York / National Office American Friends of Beit Issie Shapiro 404 Park Avenue South, 7th Fl, New York, NY 10016 Tel:  +1 (212) 586-2464 Fax: +1 (212) 246-4914 E-mail: Registration #: 13-3434-781


American Friends of Beit Issie Shapiro c/o JCC, 5870 West Olympic Blvd., Ste 107, LA 90036 Tel/Fax: +1 (323) 938-9851 E-mail: Bay Area American Friends of Beit Issie Shapiro c/o Amy Slater-Ovadia, 224 Hillcrest Circle, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523 Tel: +1 (925) 609-6360 E-mail:


American Friends of Beit Issie Shapiro c/o JCC 18900 NE 25th Ave. N Miami Beach, FL 33180 Tel: +1 (305) 933-0774 +1 (305) 933-0823 E-mail:

Chicago Friends of Children with Developmental Disabilities c/o Shelly Shannon, 25 East Washington Street, Ste 1735, Chicago, IL 60606 Tel: +1 (312) 863-6200 E-mail: Canadian Friends of Beit Issie Shapiro c/o Barbara Abrams, 5 Gladiola Court, Toronto, Ontario M3H 5X5 Canada Tel: +1 (416) 633-4995 Fax: +1 (416) 633-2746 E-mail: Registration #: 89056 - 1848 - RR0001


UK Friends of Beit Issie Shapiro, c/o Jon Landsman, Holders Hill Crescent, London, NW4 1NE, UK Tel: +44 208 203 5749 or +44 7801 816801 Email: Charity #: 328303


South African Friends of Beit Issie Shapiro, c/o Raelene Tradonsky, P.O. Box 1636 Houghton, Johannesburg 2041 Tel: +27 11-728-3586 or +27 11-575-0480 E-mail:

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