This week, the Shalva National Center in Jerusalem hosted the first Conference on Poverty and Disability. The event took place in partnership with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services and the Shalem Foundation.

The concept was planned and executed by Prof. Rimmerman, head of the Dept. of Social Work in University of Haifa and opened on event with a special focus on lessening widespread commonness and tragic impact of incidental poverty amongst families grappling with disability. In his words, “Israel’s level of service provision barely matches with average countries in developed western Europe. There have been improvements, but there is a long way to go.”

Dignitaries and experts from Israel and abroad were in attendance at the landmark event including: Gideon Shalom, Israel’s Minister of Social Welfare and Social Services, Professor Daniel Gottlieb from the National Insurance Agency, Yotam Gottleib of the “B’Zchut” organization, Prof. Malka Margalit of the Peres Academic Center and Prof. Michael Stein of Harvard University.
Present at the conference were social workers, healthcare professionals, representatives from many community based welfare and rehabilitation centers and various government branches.

Avi Samuels, Shalva’s Vice Chairman, opened the event by saying, “This is a moving event, the inaugural professional seminar and conference at the Shalva National Center, and we are more than proud to be hosting top-level experts in the field, all of whom are working tirelessly to improve quality of life for individuals with disabilities world over.”