New Directions for Special Needs Youth in Israel
Founded in 2003 with the vision of a world in which
disabled people are recognized as active, independent
and contributing members of society.
We provide services to individuals age 10-40 with
physical disabilities, sensory disabilities and chronic
illness associated disorders, brain injuries, hearing/
vision impaired, and high functioning young adults on
the autism spectrum.
Our programs are aimed to prepare youth and adults
with disabilities for the challenges of independent living.
Our services are available to all sectors of society,
regardless of religion or ethnicity.
CEO and founder, Kivunim
Kivunim is now in a challenging process
of significant expansion, especially in
our activity in Haifa, which now includes
3 Wings programs: for hearing-impaired
young adults, for high functioning young
adults with autism, and for young adults
with disabilities from the Arab community.
Our Supportive Housing program is also
spreading wings, and we hope to restart
training apartments for youngsters with
hearing impairments soon. The growing activity in Haifa will establish
it as a second center of Kivunim, parallel to Nahariya.
Haifa, the capital of the Galilee, which is characterized by co-existence,
is an excellent foundation for preparing young adults for independent
living. The many services in the city for education, professional training,
jobs, volunteering, leisure, culture and social life allow us to provide
many varied experiences. In addition, the programs’ participants will
experience a city which runs well in spite of the cultural differences
Expanding the activity and the growing number of staff that goes along
with it raises questions for us about effective operating methods, of
and within programs and staff, as well as maintaining the closeness
and intimacy of the organization which characterized Kivunim from its
beginning. Kivunim’s experience, which has been acquired in training
for independent living, continues to be a source of confidence for us
but also a commitment to continue learning, deepening and developing
new programs and tools for young adults. We continue to operate
interactively with the Ministry of Social Services, Social Security, the
JDC and development foundations.
The help of volunteers and the support of philanthropy provide
important backing for our further development in addition to state
Founded in 2003
Since its inception, Kivunim has been preparing youth and adults with
disabilities for the challenges of independent living; it has been steering
them towards meaningful and productive lives, while encouraging and
helping them to become active agents rather than passive recipients
of state services.
The organization operates a variety of programs that promote change
on an individual, family, community and societal level. Kivunim's
projects are designed to encourage self-management, independence,
identity exploration and development both on the personal and
10-21 18-21 25+
Enrichment and Wings program Supportive
Kivunim's programs include rehabilitative social clubs, supportive
housing, occupational training and unique activities that promote
independence and integration into society.
Wings Program (Mechinat Knafayim), is a two-year
transitional program that bridges between the parents' home
and independent living.
The framework combines group living, life-skills enhancement
(every-day living skills, leisure time, health issues managements,
and more), volunteer work, academic study and vocational
training and placement for young adults with disabilities aged
Our participants have normal cognitive abilities and are motivated
to leave their parents’ home/hostel and live independently in
Programs include National Service
(Sherut Leumi), employment and
vocational training, academic
studies and more.
| Over 150 graduates
| More than 26 marriages
| 70% employed
The program operates in several paths:
| Ages 18-23: Program includes participating in National Service
| For young adults with disabilities
(physical, sensory, autistics)
| Ages 23 and up: Program includes vocational training/
employment/ studies opportunities.
| Hearing impaired
| High functioning autistics
| Participants from the Arab community
| Physical/sensory disabilities
Participants arrive from all around Israel to training apartments
operated by Kivunim in the Western Galilee: Haifa, Bustan
Hagalil, and Nahariya.
Shop for Meaning
The Shop for Meaning is a unique vocational
training center for Wings participants, which
teaches basic work skills with the goal of
preparing participants for National Service
and employment. The participants go through skills assessment and
learn the basics of commerce and sales, marketing and administration,
as well as experience employer-employee relationship.
Cycling allows our Wings participants to experience the joy and
freedom of bike riding while providing a safe way to exercise,
increase physical strength and gain new levels of independence.
Our cycling club includes various bicycles such as tandem bikes,
tricycles, hand bikes, and more, while volunteers and staff ride
alongside the participants.
Programs for Youth with Disabilities:
| Simane Derech:
an enrichment program for hearing
impaired middle school students
| B’Govah Einayim:
an informal youth group for blind/
vision impaired teens based on youth
| Training Apartment in Tel Aviv:
Our newest program for hearing/vision
impaired youth in Tel Aviv area
Supportive Housing Project
This project in partnership with JDC offers a support system
for people with disabilities already living independently in the
community (graduates of Wings program and others).
The program includes assistance in locating an apartment and
adapting it to meet needs, basic repairs, social services, counselor
guidance, and a 24-hour Hotline.
Our programs are developed in partnership with
organizations such as JDC – Israel Unlimited, JDC-Ashalim,
Bituach Leumi, and the Department of Rehabilitation of
the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare.
Kibbutz Lohamei Haghetaot
D.N. Western Galilee 2280300, Israel