The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is hosting the exhibition "Bridge to the World" to open on January 19, 2016 in the gallery for temporary exhibitions. The exhibition is devoted to Israeli adults with autism, and how they view the world around them.

MFA hosts exhibit: Bridge to the World

 

Copyright: Courtesy MFA

Through various non-profit organizations, such as ALUT (the Israeli Society for Autistic Children) together with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services operates therapeutic rehabilitative daycare centers throughout Israel. These centers are intended for people with autism who have completed school and live at home with their parents, and who are not able to independently integrate into the workforce due to a low level of functioning.

Programs for autisitic individuals in Israel from the age of 21 is made possible among others with the help of the Meital Day and Employment Center in Jerusalem’s Kiryat Ha-Yovel neighborhood, which opened in 1992. The center helps rehabilitate the adults with autism by creating personal programs tailored to the skills and the potential of each individual, including painting, ceramics and crafts workshops, as well as employment skills, such as packing, the use of tool, and home economics.

Autistic adults who suffer from communication dificulties manage to express themselves through the use of color and creative materials in art workshops, thus contributing to the community. Their art works are displayed and sold at exhibitions around the country and at Meital, and all proceeds benefit the center’s activity.

Every year some 1,500 volunteers come to Israel from abroad, mostly from Germany, to help in working with the autistic population. The first volunteers came to the Beit Aviv Jerusalem Hostel in 1992, thanks to the efforts of the late Leah Rabin. Volunteers later also came to Beit Ganim and Beit Arazim, also in Jerusalem.

This wonderful project continues. About 150 volunteers from Germany, Denmark, South Korea, Japan, Peru, Hungary, Canada and the United States come at their own expense to assist at ALUT hostels scattered throughout the country (from Karmiel in the north to Beersheba in the south). The volunteers, aged 18 and over, come for a period of from 3-4 months to a year and receive a monthly living allowance.

ALUT convenes once a year for a special event to acknowledge the volunteers from abroad and their tremendous contribution to hostels across the country. The next national fundraising day of ALUT and children at risk will be held on January 20, 2016.

This exhibition seeks to raise our awareness of the importance of the activities of the center, and also to thank all the people involved. Special thanks to Shifra Machsomi Levi, director or Meital, and Timna Must, mother of Eyal, now 29, an active graduate of this framework, and Assaf, who initiated the idea of the exhibition at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.