As Israel embraces a true season of rebirth and renewal, ADI (adi-israel.org), Israel’s most comprehensive provider of residential and rehabilitative care for individuals with severe disabilities, joined forces with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra to produce the most powerful advocacy event of the year—an unprecedented classical music concert that highlighted the importance of disability inclusion through music.
On the evening of June 3, following more than a year under pandemic protocol, and several intense days in the direct line of fire from Gazan rockets, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, led by conductor Yoel Levi, assembled at the foot of ADI Negev-Nahalat Eran’s accessible amphitheater to serenade and inspire the 400 in-person attendees with well-known and well-loved works, as well as a moving “video art” composition entitled “Every Person Is a Symphony.”
During the unique multisensory experience, a first in Israel, a video collage of ADI residents with severe disabilities playing various musical instruments with the Israel Philharmonic musicians was shown on giant screens above the stage, amplifying the orchestra’s live performance and underscoring our shared humanity and responsibility to empower people of all levels of ability.
“Our work throughout the rehabilitative village is guided by the understanding that the strength of the human chain is only as strong as its weakest link—our ability to become better people and an exemplary society is dependent upon our commitment and our efforts to advancing the most vulnerable among us,” said Major General (Res.) Doron Almog, founder and chairman of ADI Negev-Nahalat Eran, at the event.
“While it is often said that every person is a world unto himself, we believe that every person is actually a symphony—unique, complex and beautiful—and we can appreciate the wonders of each individual if only we take the time to listen to the music of their souls.”
Two weeks prior to the concert, the Israel Philharmonic musicians visited the rehabilitative village to meet with the ADI residents and special education students and introduce them to classical music. The pictures and videos from this poignant encounter were used to develop the multisensory backdrop for the orchestra’s commanding performance.
“It was an incredibly powerful visit, and the musicians instantly connected with our residents and special education students,” said Almog. “But you couldn’t help but notice the striking contrast between the beautiful music, which no doubt reaches the heavens, and our residents who are always silent. It emphasized the importance of this concert, which harnessed the power of music to give our ADI residents a voice.”
The momentous twilight performance also celebrated the opening of ADI’s Neuro-Orthopedic Rehabilitative Hospital in the Negev, the first of its kind in Israel’s south. Thanks to the support of JNF-USA, multiple government ministries and international donors, the hospital, which is set for completion later this year, will increase the number of Israel’s rehabilitative hospital beds dramatically, bring quality care to the residents of the south, create more housing and jobs in the Negev, and change the face of rehabilitative care in Israel and beyond through state-of-the-art translational research.
“The residents of Israel’s south deserve the same care as those in every other part of the country, and we believe that we can set the bar higher for rehabilitative care,” added Almog. “ADI Negev-Nahalat Eran was founded on the principle that a person is a person no matter what, and this hospital is finally starting to bring our full vision into view.
In this place, people from all backgrounds and levels of need will be provided with the best possible care and loved beyond measure. “On Sunday, June 20, an enhanced program, including the full Israel Philharmonic concert and a behind-the-scenes look at the new hospital, will be broadcast to ADI’s friends and supporters around the globe. Free tickets for the international broadcast can be secured by registering at http://bit.ly/adinegevconcert.