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Published on : Wednesday, January 20, 2016
The opening ceremony of Bridge to the World, an exhibition of paintings created by autistic artists, will take at the gallery for temporary exhibitions in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem.
The exhibition reflects the observations of autistic adults of the world around them. The activities of individuals from the age of 21 and up is made possible with the help of ‘Meital’ – Day and Employment Center in the Kiryat Ha-Yovel neighborhood in Jerusalem, which opened in 1992.
The center creates a personal rehabilitation program based on painting, ceramics and crafts workshops, as well as the fields of manufacturing and home economics tailored to each individual’s needs and potential.
Autistic adults who suffer from communication problems participate in art workshops and make use of color and creative materials to express themselves, thus contributing to the community. The artworks are displayed and sold at exhibitions around the country and at ‘Meital’ centers. All proceeds are for the benefit of the center’s activities.
Dozens of volunteers from abroad, from countries such as Germany, Denmark, South Korea, Japan, Peru, Hungary, Canada and the United States arrive each year at their own expense to volunteer at ALUT (The Israeli Society for Autistic Children) hostels all over the country. They volunteer for periods ranging from 3-4 months to a full year.
If in the past young people from Germany would volunteer to work on the kibbutzim, the current hot trend among these youths is to volunteer to help people with special needs in general and autistic people in particular.
Previously, the youngsters, aged between 18 and 20, would participate in the program as part of their national service. Nowadays, even though national service is no longer compulsory, many volunteer willingly.
The first ones volunteers arrived in 1992 and worked at the ‘Beit Aviv’ Hostel Jerusalem, during Leah Rabin’s tenure. Then other began arriving at other hostels in Jerusalem, such ‘Beit Ganim’ and ‘Beit Arazim’.
After 23 years the project is still going strong with volunteers serving in hostels throughout the country.
ALUT meets once a year for a special event to acknowledge all the volunteers from abroad for their tremendous contribution to Hostels across the country. ALUT’s next national fundraising day 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.