Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett visited ADI’s residential facility in Jerusalem today to mark the opening month of Bnei Akiva activities with Israel’s only chapter for children with severe disabilities. After greeting each of the children in ADI’s Bnei Akiva chapter individually, the Education Minister, a graduate of Bnei Akiva himself, was treated to a truly unique ‘Chodesh Irgun’ performance in which the counselors helped the ADI residents dance to lively music while waving the flags of Israel, Bnei Akiva and ADI – a wheelchair-friendly version of trADItional ‘daglanut.’
Following the performance, the Education Minister explained that ADI’s Bnei Akiva chapter represents a dramatic positive shift for the youth movement and for all of Israeli society. “You, the counselors, could have chosen any Bnei Akiva chapter, but you chose this one, and I am so thankful that you did, because when I see you interacting with these amazing children, I know for certain that we are the kindest, most beautiful and strongest nation in the world. You, at ADI, are the torchbearers, and you cast light upon us all – light for the children who need it most, light for their parents, light for all of Israel, and a ‘light unto the nations.”
Inspired by his visit to ADI, the Education Minister pledged that he would work with Bnei Akiva leadership to create additional chapters across Israel for children with disabilities, as well as increase the number of children allowed in each ‘special needs chapter’ so that even more ADI residents would be able to take advantage of the programming being coordinated at the facilities they call home.