Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, chief rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of Great Britain and the Commonwealth, visited the Jerusalem facility of ADI Jerusalem to learn about ADI’s high-level medical and rehabilitative care and what Jewish communities around the world can do to promote true disability inclusion in Israel.
Shlomit Grayevsky, the director of ADI Jerusalem, took the chief rabbi on a private tour of the facility, pointing out the specially designed living quarters, high-tech special education classrooms and top-of-the-line rehabilitation rooms, as well as all of the other tools used to provide the residents with a continuum of loving care from infancy and childhood through adulthood.
Throughout the tour, Chief Rabbi Mirvis noted how impressed he was with the attention given to each child by ADI’s dedicated staff and volunteers as well as the pioneering rehabilitative and special education techniques developed by the organization to aid and care for Israel’s disability community.
“This was a very emotional and inspirational experience for me. It is clear that ADI doesn’t only help the children, they impact entire families. This is important work for all of Klal Yisrael, and the dedication shown by ADI’s staff underscores the fact that every Jewish soul is important and deserving of love and care,” said Chief Rabbi Mirvis following the tour.
“From the bottom of my heart, I applaud you and thank you for the work that you are doing here to give these wonderful children a full life. I am proud that in London we have so many generous people who are very supportive of ADI. I will make it a priority to share what I have seen here today with our constituents across the UK so that this support only continues to grow.”
The chief rabbi expressed interest in a joint initiative between ADI and the United Hebrew Congregations of Great Britain and the Commonwealth that would further educate his Jewish communities about the importance of disability inclusion, and he discussed his desire to include ADI as one of the main stops on the semi-annual rabbinic mission to Israel, a program that draws rabbis from across the UK.
Upon his return to England, Rabbi Mirvis published a beautiful letter, describing ADI as “a place where angels are loved and cared for by angels,” and taking upon himself to become a Patron of the British Friends of ADI.