As Purim nears, over 50 volunteers gathered at ADI Negev-Nahalat Eran for an accessible, adaptive pre-Purim celebration, specifically targeting the unique needs of students in the village’s Special Education School.
Tikkkun Olam Makers (TOM) and Ben Gurion University’s Yazamut 360, in conjunction with JNF-USA, harnessed the creativity of Seminar HaKibbutzim and Betzalel and Shenker design school students to come up with accessible costumes suitable for wheelchair or walker users. Utilizing more than 300 sheets of industrial cardboard donated by the Carmel-Frenkel Company, together with endless skill and dedication, the volunteers created a parade of costumes including tractors, airplanes and market-produce booths. As we get closer to Purim, any family of children with a disability will be able to access the costumes at the TOM website, www.tomglobal.org.
The special event was dedicated to the memory of Amitai Ben Horin who passed away suddenly last month from a heart attack. Amitai volunteered in many village activities, including TOM-sponsored endeavors. Amitai was the technical director, working as a volunteer to find technical solutions to challenges facing people with disabilities. “I saw him busy with his fabulous work, his golden hands and all-encompassing heart working together with a rare talent for the benefit of the wonderful children of this village,” commented Sigal Leon, a close friend.
Avi Wortzman, CEO of ADI Negev-Nahalat Eran added that, “the initiative of TOM, Tikkun Olam Makers Israel, is exceptional. Every child in Israel wants to dress up for Purim, to be happy, to dance and sing. TOM takes children with disabilities and by combining technology and design enables them to truly celebrate. Our thanks to JNF-USA, Ben Gurion University, Seminar HaKibbutzim, and the Shenker and Betzalel design schools who see above and beyond the costume to recognize the child within. Thanks to these wonderful organizations, the children of ADI Negev-Nahalat Eran will have truly happy holiday with costumes lovingly adapted to suit their needs.”
Israel Ro’i Goldberg, director of TOM said that, “it was important for us at TOM to bring the next generation of Israeli engineers and designers for an up-close look at the lives of children of the ADI Negev-Nahalat Eran rehabilitation village. Our goal is that when students complete their studies and start designing and planning public and private areas in Israel, they will remember the special needs of these children and will plan the world accordingly.”
Wishing everyone an accessible, inclusive and happy Purim!