The Association for Mentally & Physically Challenged Children in Israel

SHALVA Jerusalem

SHALVA Jerusalem
SHALVA Beit Nachshon Center

In memory of Nachshon Wachsman, ztl

Nachshon Wachsman, of blessed memory, son of Yehuda and Esther, was the focus of world attention in 1994 when, at age 19, he was held hostage and murdered by Hamas terrorists. Good people everywhere experienced an unprecedented surge of unity and solidarity of purpose. Nachshon served in the Israeli army in an elite commando unit of the Golani Brigade and was loved by all. He cared deeply for his younger brother Raphael who has Down syndrome and spent endless hours with him, escorting Raphael to SHALVA for therapy and recreation.

The Entrance Lobby:
Each room in the SHALVA Center is a small world unto itself that bears its own unique design. It is here that the children are warmly greeted by the staff and the place from where they depart after a day filled with enjoyable and enriching experiences. The kids feel at home from the moment they enter the building. The spacious and colorful lobby overlooks the breathtaking view of the Jerusalem Forest.

Library & Playroom
In this room the children enjoy one-on-one or small group therapies. Surrounded by colorful wooden chairs and tables, the youngsters come to take part in an hour of therapy, story time or an organized activity. The adjoining cabinets are stocked with therapeutic materials and educational resources for the counselors to use with the children. 

Snoezelen - Multi-Sensory Room
The Snoezelen, a multi-sensory room, is part of a therapeutic zone filled with activities which facilitate movement and relaxation. It is a unique room designed to stimulate all the child's senses, motivating him to explore his environment through devices that encourage movement and awaken the senses of smell, touch, sound and sight. The room's special design induces a sense of security, facilitates relaxation and enables concentration and progress.

Music Room
The music room is designed to help rehabilitate and improve the child's physical and mental health. Through structured activities such as singing, playing instruments and simulation exercises, children learn alternative communication skills, movement, emotional development, and coordination. The music room is equipped with a large variety of instruments - each compatible with the respective therapy. In addition to regular music programming, this is also the rehearsal space for the SHALVA Band.

The Physiotherapy & Movement Center
The Physiotherapy Center at SHALVA enables children to work on different types of motion in order to advance the functional skills that are crucial for a child's development. The staff of physiotherapists constructs individual treatment plans for each toddler, taking into consideration the child's present status and previous developmental pace. This plan incorporates goals that are based on professional potential assessments. 

The Auditorium - A Cultural Center
The Auditorium is used for special activities such as performances, parties, song and dance events and sports activities. It has a large and modern stage that is used by both the children and special guest entertainers. Family and friends come here to see their child show off the skills they have learned at SHALVA. 

The Storch Family Playground
The enclosed playground is outfitted with equipment that has been designed and implemented especially for children with special needs. It is here that the children enjoy their own private playing area within a secure environment, under the supervision of professional instructors and volunteers.

Video Room
This cozy room is paneled in natural pine wood and makes for a perfect environment for young people to relax with friends while watching their favorite videos and television shows. The video room ensures ample opportunity for interaction and the development of essential social skills, necessary for each child's progress.

The Feinstein Family Overnight Respite Center
The respite center operates all week long, enabling the children of the Afternoon Activity program to spend both one night a week away from home as well as a two-night weekend away once a month. When a child learns physical skills such as face washing and teeth brushing, he/she gradually reduces his dependency on parents and other family members. The design of the individual rooms was inspired by fairy tales with each space designed around a different story. Each bedroom is fully equipped to create a warm and homey atmosphere.

The Dining Room
The architecture of the dining hall is designed to give children the comfort required for healthy mealtime. The wood panelling on the walls, the murals with fairy tale motifs and the tranquil view of the Jerusalem Hills create a harmonious and soothing atmosphere, which encourages healthy eating, a vital component for the development of children with special needs .

The Shower Room

In this spacious room, decorated with illustrations of cheerful fantasy characters, children acquire the skills necessary for personal hygiene, thereby setting the foundation for normative living. Abilities in this area serve as a foundation for normative living at home. Shower rooms with separate entrances allow for privacy before, during and after the shower. Colorful hand-painted tiles featuring Christopher Robin and Winnie-the-Pooh ensure that even preparing for bed at SHALVA is an enjoyable experience. 

Therapeutic Pool
The Hydrotherapy Center at SHALVA was constructed especially for children with special needs and is equipped with state-of-the-art technological devices. The Center services hundreds of disabled babies, children and teenagers from all around the country. Under direct guidance from the professional team, the children learn to trust themselves, their bodies and their surroundings.

Computer Room - Touch Screen Therapy
Through the use of special software and touch sensitive screens, SHALVA professionals awaken a wide range of stimulants that assist the child in developing communication skills as well as build delicate motor skills and cognitive processes at the touch of a finger. Immersed in this unique environment, the child becomes an integral part of interactive activity. 

Home Economics Kitchen
Cooking, baking, cutting vegetables, serving and cleaning - the Home Economics Kitchen is especially designed to help the children develop important skills for independent functioning. Food preparation involves endless opportunities to teach the children about sizes, shapes, colors and textures. It is also the perfect backdrop for teaching them delicate motor skills such as holding a knife and cutting carrots, preparing salad, kneading dough, baking cookies and eating the tasty results. 

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