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Jerusalem Center for Blind Children with Multiple Disabilities

 

 
 

Helping Children Reach Their Potential At Keren Or, we believe a little light can dispel much darkness. Our goal is about getting past children’s disabilities and revealing their hopes, dreams, and possibilities.

 
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The Legacy of this Family

 

 

As a teenager, I spent a year living in Israel, where I was able to volunteer at Keren Or's Jerusalem Center for the Blind and Disabled. Every week, I traveled an hour by bus in order to spend time with a young girl named Aya. It was such a special part of my Israel experience. Years later, my memories of Aya and my time at Keren Or, have made me a regular donor to the organization.

Fast forward 20 years, and it was time for my daughter, Tamar, to celebrate her Bat Mitzvah. Tamar chose to make tactile books for the children of Keren Or as part of her Mitzvah project, and she worked tirelessly for weeks to complete them. She also decided to hold her Bat Mitzvah celebration at the Keren Or campus, inviting not only family and friends, but the students and staff of Keren Or as well. It was a beautiful party, made even more special by the presence of Aya, who still lives in residence at Keren Or. It was so emotional to see Aya again. She even said she remembered me. She had the same warm personality I remembered.

My relationship with Keren Or has come full circle, and hopefully one day Tamar will know the joy of passing down a commitment to Keren Or to her own children as well.

Working Together Towards a Common Goal

Keren Or's innovative therapies and one-on-one approach make it a unique place. No one understands that better than the parents who bring their children to our facility.

Yifat Ne'eman, a speech therapist at Keren Or for six years, appreciates the powerful role that Keren Or plays in the lives of families. "There are schools for the deaf, schools for the blind and schools for children with developmental disabilities, but if a child has all these deficits, where does a parent put them?" she asks. "At Keren Or, parents can feel they have finally found the right place."

Part of what makes Keren Or "the right place" is the constant evaluation and improvement of treatment plans to ensure the best possible and most individualized care. Yifat is part of a team of Keren Or therapists utilizing a new approach to speech therapy. By combining speech therapy sessions with hydrotherapy in Keren Or's state-of-the-art hydrotherapy pool, Yifat is able use the warm water to relax and strengthen children's muscles and enable them to receive important "feedback" about their bodies. That feedback is an important first step in improving speech and motor skills. "The pool is an amazing place for these children," Yifat explains, "because the water helps the children orient their bodies in their environment. They have to close their mouths so water doesn't get in, and blowing bubbles helps strengthen the muscles needed for swallowing and proper breathing."

Yifat works closely with parents and respects their wishes and choices. "These are the people who work with their children at home every day," she says. "These parents can teach us a lot." When parents, teachers, and therapists work together, children reap the benefits.

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Hand Made Keren Or Thank You Cards!

What better way to send your thanks then with one of our special cards: hand made by Camp Akiba as Mitzvah Projects for our Keren Or students in Jerusalem.

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Visit Us in Israel

Are you curious to see the work that our organization does from a first hand experience? If you’re visiting Israel at any point of the year, why not visit?

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charity-navigatorCharity Navigator has awarded Keren Or its highest rating of Four Stars three years in a row. 93 cents of every dollar goes directly to funding our students at the Keren Or Center in Jerusalem.

 

 

 

 

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