The Shalem Foundation was established in 1983 by the Federation of Local Authorities in cooperation with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services. The foundation works to develop comprehensive services and resources for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities throughout the country.

The Vision of the Shalem Foundation
"People with developmental intellectual disabilities have the basic right to live normal lives within their natural surroundings, to realize their hidden potential, and to be socially, culturally, and occupationally integrated into the community as much as possible, according to their abilities, desires, and needs."
The Shalem Foundation has played a key role in impacting the lives of people with disabilities and their families. The foundation’s multifaceted team continuously strives to develop innovative programs to improve the quality of life of people with disabilities and include them in all aspects of society. The Shalem Foundation understands the complex needs of these individuals and those around them. As these needs change throughout the course of their lives, The Shalem Foundation aims to help every step of the way.
The Shalem Foundation Assists in the Following Areas:
• Funding of physical development of community facilities
• Funding and support of innovative social services and programs for people with developmental disabilities 
• Funding and development of advanced educational and tutoring programs for professionals
• Funding and assistance with artistic productions by people with intellectual and developmental disabilities
• Creation and support of activities that promote and change way of thinking and attitudes towards people with intellectual and developmental disabilities
• Funding of research, professional knowledge development and models, training and conferences
The Shalem Foundation provides funding for approximately 200 projects and initiatives throughout Israel each year. The organization works in full cooperation with local councils, representatives of the Ministry of Social Affairs & Social Services and other nonprofit organizations throughout Israel.
The Shalem Foundation encourages new ideas and activities in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities and offers annual awards to heads of regional councils, public figures and volunteers. The Foundation also awards prizes for excellence to regional councils and individuals with intellectual disabilities who have contributed to society or to unique projects.

The Shalem Foundation has made a number of strategic goals for the years 2015-2020. They include:
1. Changing perceptions and inclusion of people with disabilities in all aspects of daily life. This includes development of a unique enterprise that will offer a glimpse into the world of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The center will be the first of its kind in the world and will enable partnership with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
2. Capacity building, training, applied research, knowledge and skill development for professional workers and caretakers of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 
3. An incubator for change: the Shalem foundation invites all initiatives which promote the inclusion of people with disabilities in society as well as bettering their quality of life.
The Shalem Foundation is dedicated to utilizing the potential of every person with intellectual disabilities in order to provide them with the best possible quality of life as well as educating society as a whole to be more inclusive and caring. 
People with Disabilities in Israe - Facts & Figures    

From the booklet: "The State of Israel provides services to children and adults with
physical, sensory, mental health and intellectual disabilities. In recent years, Israel ratified the United Nations Convention on the
Rights of People with Disabilities and legislation has been passed to promote the inclusion of people with disabilities in the community.
However, despite these developments, much still needs to be done in order to better integrate people with disabilities into all
.aspects of Israeli life and to help them realize their full potential
Our hope is that the information presented here will help to clarify and focus attention on the remaining challenges and assist in the
".Efforts to address them


לפריט המלא
קרא | הורד

Inauguration of apartment complex for community living through the Shekel Association    


To complement the growing trend of integrating people developmental intellectual disabilities into mainstream society, a new model of communal housing has been initiated.  Apartments are adapted to be accessible for disabled adults including those in wheelchairs.  Accommodating up to six people per unit, the apartments enable personalized treatment while providing a sense of community. 

Previously, people with disabilities who required nursing and other assistance lived in segregated homes or institutions far removed from everyday society. This model implements their right to be part of the greater community.

The appearance of people with a range of disabilities in the community aids the changing social perception about the abilities and capabilities of people with disabilities.

Living in the community enables the individual to maintain the sequence of experiences and relationships from the day he or she was born in his or her hometown and deepen their sense of belonging. The apartment also provides the family of the tenant a friendly and familial environment while visiting their relative.

Shekel Association provides community services for people with special needs.  In December 2014 they inaugurated a new apartment complex in the community for people with developmental intellectual disabilities.

The project was completed through the collaboration of the Shalem Foundation and the Foundation of Services for the Disabled of the National Insurance Institute of Israel.

The apartments were all inaugurated on the same day, inviting representatives from each institute to visit each apartment together with the occupants and their families.  Among the representatives were:

Representatives came from the management of Shekel association
Chairman of the Shalem Foundation, Mr. Haim Ga'ash
CEO of the Shalem Foundation, Mrs. Riva Moskal
Manager of Projects at the Foundation,Mrs. Miki Cohen
Director of the Foundation of Services for the Disabled of the National Insurance Institute of IsraelMr. Shmuel Vinglas
CEO of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services, Mr. Yossi Silman
Director of the Department of Developmental Mental Disability in the Ministry of Social Affairs,  Mr. Gidon Shalom
Jerusalem Ministry Council Member,EladMalka
Head of Social Affairs in the Jerusalem Ministry, Rabbi Ya'akovHalperin

Mr.Yossi Silman, CEOof the Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services, spoke of the intent of his ministry to continue opening more apartments for people with disabilities in the community and of his hope to transfer people from group homes to such apartments.


“It’s so nice, to ride together on a bike”   A joint bike ride in the city of Lod  


The inaugural "moving together” bike ride took place  in 2013 and was a touching example of true integration between the general population and people with special needs in the city of Lod.
The mayor, YairRavivo Esq., was inspired by the success of the previous event and promised that Lod would make the bike ride a municipal tradition.  And indeed it did: a five kilometer journey, the second annual “Moving together” bike ridetook place on Friday, November 21st 2014.
Approximately two hundred riders participated, including people with special needs, students from Jewish and Arab high schools in Lod, religious and secular residents and municipal employees.
Half of theparticipants with disabilities were people with developmental intellectual disabilities from rehabilitative day care centersin the city. They rode bikes specifically suited for their disabilities.
The journey was part of a city-wide awareness week for people with disabilities. This advocacy week aims to change perceptions towards the special needs community, to create a real understanding of the right to lead a respectful and equal life for those with special needs and to remove the boundaries that exclude them from society.
A special bond was woven between the different institutions that worked together with the municipality of Lod: Bank Hapoalim, The Shalem Foundation, Pesher Association, Kehila Negisha, Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services Divisions of Services for Persons with Development Disabilities and Therapeutic and Educational Departments, the Municipal Sports Department, Akim, the Department of Regular Education and supervision of the Department of Education, the Lod Foundation, and the Department of Social Integration.
The bike path was planned with the help of the Israel Cycling Foundation and Etgarim Association.


The Shalem Foundation took part in the planning and funding of this special event.
A video describing the Bike Ride
Filming and Editing : Adrenalin Company

The characteristics, meanings and implications of Couples Relationships from the perspective of people with intellectual disability living as couples. A comparison of quality of life and self-esteem in couple's relationships versus relationships between friends   Prof. Shunit Reiter, Ran Neuman, Ph.D - University of Haifa, Faculty of Education, Department of Special Education  


This research is supported by a grant from the Shalem Foundation

Just like anyone in the general population, people with intellectual disabilities express interest and longing for intimacy. They have limited opportunities to experience such relationships and there are currently few references to the subject in literature and research.

This study examined the point of view of a couple with intellectual disabilities. The findings indicate the uniqueness of a relationship for people with intellectual disabilities. Amongst the findings is the positive effect of an intimate relationship on the quality of life and self-image of the couple. The research suggests re-characterization of the concept of intimate relationships among people with intellectual disabilities and .defines a number of recommendations for how society can and should help

 ."Finally, it proposed to abandon the question of "whether or not" to support this issue and to focus instead on "how

"Video describing the study March 2014, Filmed in the "Village of Hope

Editor : Shay Slomi 


The Shalem Foundation sends you to the green outdoors   Activities in nature are also for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities  


During Operation Tzok Eitan The Shalem Foundation helped people with intellectual and developmental disabilities through a variety of frameworks. Due to rocket sirens keeping much of the country confined to bomb-shelters, the foundation emphasized outdoor activities. Together with Lotem, a nonprofit who aims to make nature accessible to all, groups of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities from the South were able to enjoy the great outdoors
They visited sites, greenery and lakes and relaxed in wide open spaces. People with intellectual and developmental disabilities, like any one of us, have the right to enjoy all the benefits that this beautiful country has to offer
The Shalem Foundation constantly works to make this possible
This movie records a group from Yahad Be’er Sheva on their trip to Ein Hemed National Park in the outskirts of Jerusalem. July, 2014

A special family playing- a clip and instruction kit on the importance of playing in families with children with special needs    


The discovery of a child's disability is an extremely difficult time for a family.  Families must find the best course of care for their child to ensure they are able to reach their full potential. Quite often parents dream that if they follow all of their doctor’s recommendations, they will manage to heal or eliminate his or her disability. This dream has positive aspects and can helpadvance the child's development.However it can also be dangerous and lead to a fixation on curing the disability, resulting in the loss of childhood for the children and put overwhelming pressure on the parents. They must accept that the disability will not pass and that it is now a permanent part of their lives.

The goal of the instruction kit is to encourage families to continue to lead a life fullof fun and curiosity, and not to live merely to “fix” the disability. They should participate in recreational activities, especially playful activities that have a key role in cognitive, emotional and social development, as well as in developing a positive self-image. Essentially, the kit encourages playing for the sake of playing.

Keshar organization, JDC Israel Ashalim, the Shalem Foundation and the National Insurance Institute of Israel collaborated in the production of the film “A Special Family Playing” directed by Eli Tal El. The movie was inspired by Debi Elnatan, a mother of a child with special needs.

To watch the movie with English subtitles press here


At this time the movie can be watched in a variety of languages, and in the future the kit will also be available in multiple languages on our web site.