Believing that the care of children with special needs should not be left to the family alone, Shalva’s founders Malki and Kalman Samuels created a therapeutic environment in which children with disabilities could grow and thrive. This approach was based on the Samuels’ own experience with raising their son Yossi who was left blind, deaf and acutely hyperactive as the result of a faulty vaccination. Yossi’s disabilities took their toll on his family. Providing him with constant loving care, they became exhausted and isolated. Many professionals and well-intentioned friends suggested placing Yossi in an institution. But Malki refused and vowed to God that if He helped Yossi, she would dedicate herself to helping other children with disabilities and their families.
When Yossi was eight, Shoshana Weinstock, a deaf special education teacher penetrated Yossi’s wall of silence via Hebrew finger spelling. She taught Yossi his first word, “shulchan” – Hebrew for table – thus creating a relationship analogous to that of Annie Sullivan and Helen Keller. Malki recalled her promise and with Kalman’s help, Shalva was founded in 1990.
Today, Shalva provides transformative services to more than 850 participants with disabilities via a plethora of individually tailored programs and round-the-clock therapies, provided completely free of charge, seven days a week. It is your support and dedication that enables us to continue our mission of Shalva is dedicated to providing transformative care for individuals with disabilities, empowering their families and promoting social inclusion.
Through nearly three decades of award-winning programs, Shalva has become an indispensable element of Israel’s social services structure and an international model of disability program development. The organization’s exemplary management standards are certified by the ISO and Midot. As an international leader in disability services, Shalva partners with government bodies, universities, corporate entities and friends from around the world in advancing the inclusion of individuals with disabilities.
Shalva’s multifaceted curricula have been crafted by Shalva’s directorial staff, and are regularly evaluated by the Ministries of Education, Health and Social Welfare/Social Services as well as Shalva’s International Academic Committee. Liat Rahat, MSW is our Director of Education and members of Shalva’s International Academic Committee include Dr. Malka Margalit of Tel-Aviv University, Prof. Amid Ismail of Temple University and Dr. Cory Schulman of the Hebrew University.
Shalva’s exemplary standards of management are evaluated and affirmed by the ISO. Shalva is one of only six non-profit organisations to receive Midot’s Seal of Outstanding Effectiveness; the only one to do so in the field of disability.
Each of Shalva’s programs are respectively recipients of the Israeli government’s Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services, Ministry of Education, and Ministry of Healthy’s highly regarded recognition.
Shalva has received numerous awards throughout the years, including:
President’s Prize for Excellence, 1994
Mayor of Jerusalem’s Award for Exceptional Service, 1999
Jerusalem Municipality Award of Distinction for National Service Volunteers, 2004
Shalem Foundation Award as “Israel’s Most Unique Program for the Mentally Challenged, 2004
Knesset Speaker’s Quality of Life Prize for Outstanding Humanitarian Service, 2005
Jerusalem Foundation Prize in Honor of Teddy Kollek for Leadership and Public Excellence, 2006
Aminadav National Service Award for Excellence, 2007
Jerusalem’s Award of Distinction for National Service Volunteers, 2009
SHALEM Foundation Award, 2010
The Ministry of Education Outstanding Volunteer Award, 2012
The brand-new Shalva National Center opens new doors for individuals with disabilities and their families offering programs, services and facilities never before available in Israel. It is Israel’s beacon of inclusion and an international leader of innovative programs and research.
Adjacent to the new Route 16 Highway, the National Center has been designated by the Jerusalem Municipality to be the welcoming face of Israel’s capital. The 200,000 square-foot campus is brimming over with cutting-edge educational, therapeutic, recreational and vocational facilities. Six acres of inclusion parks are open to the public allowing children of all abilities to play and grow together.
The SHALVA National Center
Located in the heart of Jerusalem
The Center is Israel’s beacon of inclusion and an international leader of innovative programs and research.