While US Secretary of the Treasury, Steven Mnuchin was in meetings with Prime Minister Netanyahu, his wife Louise Linton together with Tammy Friedman, wife of US Ambassador to Israel, took time to come to visit Shalva.

The two dignitary guests enjoyed a coffee at Café Shalva, a popular, boutique coffee shop at the Shalva center that inspires social inclusion through its integrated staff of people with and without disabilities. Linton and Freedman enjoyed visiting with the children in Shalva’s preschool and touring the other facilities; however, the prominent artistic display at the building’s main entrance is what resonated most. The five-foot-tall mobile with large painted metal butterflies extended in all directions is artist David Gerstein’s largest piece yet, which he created for Shalva in memory of his late wife.

Linton and Friedman also met Yossi Samuels, the inspiration behind Shalva’s establishment.  During their meeting with Yossi, Linton and Friedman used sign language to carry on discussions with Yossi about his greatest passions- politics, cars and mobile technology.

Inspired by the encounter, Friedman took the liberty to extend the message of the butterfly further. “Yossi is a real example of the butterfly effect” explained Friedman.  “It is really remarkable how the experience of raising one child with disabilities can have a ripple effect that leads to so many other families with children with disabilities to receive this amazing support.”

“This is the most incredible place I have ever been,” commented Linton, who starred in Hollywood films and TV Shows, like Cabin Fever, CSI: NY, and Cold Case. “This is such a happy place.”