Israel Elwyn (IE)

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Israel Elwyn (IE)
Headquarters20 Henrietta Szold, Jerusalem
  • Israel
Area served
FieldSupport services for people with disabilities
Key people
Chairperson: Alan Cohn, CEO: David B. Marcu

Israel Elwyn (IE) was established in 1984 and operates in collaboration and support of the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Social Services; Ministry of Education; National Insurance Institute of Israel; Ministry of Health and local municipalities nationwide. IE serves more than 5,200 people with disabilities including toddlers, children, teenagers, young people, adults and seniors.

We believe that every person is capable of self-advocacy and standing up for his or her rights thus enabling the individual to take responsibility for his or her own life, to have an impact on the community and to fulfill his or her needs and wants.


Among our programs: Early Intervention Centers; extended school day program in kindergarten and special education schools; Transitional programs for teenagers and young adults; Support programs for young adults who volunteer in National Service; Training and employment in the competitive job market; Adult Day Centers; Retiree programs; Supported Living Services; Self-Advocacy programs in the community; Cultural and Recreational Programs.


Israel Elwyn foresees a society in which people with disabilities will be citizens with equal rights; a society in which we all aspire to determine our own future and way of life.


Israel Elwyn (IE) was founded in 1984, at the initiative of the Municipality of Jerusalem and the Government of Israel. It began as an offshoot of the American nonprofit Elwyn Inc., and became an independent organization in 1998.

In 1987, IE opened its first Supported Employment Program for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities. In 1989, the first Supported Employment Program for individuals referred by the National Insurance Institute’s Rehabilitation Department was established.

In 1991, IE assumed management of the Dvora Agmon Preschool Center, founded in 1971 by the late Prof. Naomi Amir, which maintains an international reputation for the education, training, and care of children with cerebral palsy and communication disorders.

In 1992, IE established Community Living Services apartments were established in Jerusalem, and the program was later expanded to central Israel.

In 1996, “18+,” a unique transitional program to prepare high school students in special education for the world of work, was established as a collaboration between IE, the Jerusalem Municipality, and the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Social Services.

In 2001, IE opened the first program for retirees with disabilities at the Sabbah Center (in Jerusalem), at the initiative of Meir Heller, z”l, the center’s service recipient who asked to retire from his work at the center for developing hobbies and new skills, relevant for his age.

In 2007, the Katie Manson Sensory Garden was inaugurated in Jerusalem. The garden encourages sensory stimulation and activities through the use of equipment specially designed for this purpose, in a green, calm, and relaxing environment. The garden’s equipment was carefully designed by a professional team aiming to respect adults and their needs, yet it is suitable for all ages. Each of the garden’s four areas is dedicated to a different sense: touch, sight, hearing, and taste/scent. This separation heightens sensory stimulation, enabling the activation of each sense independently. The garden is supportive and accessible for all types of disabilities, and is used by individuals and groups from throughout the country.

In 2011, Israel Elwyn and Beit Issie Shapiro initiated the Self-Advocacy Program, providing people with intellectual and developmental disabilities with the tools needed to make their voices heard and to advance their rights, while improving their quality of life. The program was made possible through a unique partnership with the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles and the Ruderman Family Foundation.

In 2014, IE was awarded a contract for operating the “Mosaic – National Service for All” program, as an umbrella association providing support and guidance to the Shlomit and Aminadav organizations for the inclusion of people with disabilities in National Service.

In 2019, the “For a Change” pilot program, promoting volunteerism among teenagers with disabilities, was awarded The Zero Project entrepreneurial prize at a well-attended ceremony at the UN building in Vienna, Austria. The program was operated by IE in collaboration with the Ministry of Education; Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Social Services; Israeli Volunteering Network; Federation of Local Authorities in Israel; and JDC Israel-Ashalim.

In 2020, the “Creating a Future” transition program, which provides students with disabilities with the tools, skills, and experience necessary for inclusion in the competitive job market, was awarded The Zero Project prize at a well-attended ceremony at the UN building in Vienna, Austria. The program was initiated and operated by Israel Elwyn and the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Social Services, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education.


  • Haifa & Northern Israel
  • Sharon & Central Israel
  • Elwyn El-Quds
  • Jerusalem & Southern Israel
  • Community Living Services

Members of forums and organizations

  • Forum Pat for the Advancement and Development of Employment for People with Disabilities in Israel
  • Civic Leadership. The Umbrella Organization for Civic Social Organization and the Third Sector in Israel
  • Forum for the Advancement of National Service in Israel
  • Forum Matzliach – Operators of Supported Public Living Services
  • The Coalition of Organizations and Parents for Children with Disabilities
  • The Coalition for Dual Diagnosis
  • Rehabilitative Day Centers Committee
  • The Israeli Council for Social Welfare
  • NJHSA – Network of Jewish Human Service Agencies Inclusion International.
  • AAIDD: American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.
  • IASSIDD: International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.
  • Elwyn Inc. USA.
  • Inclusion International
  • Zero Project

Articles and Studies

External links

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