Founded in 2007, Shutaf Inclusion Programs in Jerusalem offers year-round activities for children, teens, and young people, with and without disabilities: Camp Shutaf Passover and Summer Sessions; Young Leadership Program for teens and young adults; 21+ at Shutaf for young people ages 21-30; Inclusion-Accelerator Workshops; Parent and family gatherings.

Shutaf brings together participants from a variety of backgrounds who would not typically come together in their daily lives. Shutaf programs offer a place for social engagement and collective identity in Jerusalem, a city often polarized and separated by religious and cultural differences.

Shutaf is committed to quality services for children, teens, and young adults of all abilities, regardless of labels, financial limitations, cultural and religious differences.

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‘We wanted something that wasn’t just babysitting,’ says Beth Steinberg, mother to Akiva. ‘Our kids can’t just join activities at the local community center, what are they supposed to do after school and during vacations?’

‘We started with 10 participants in August 2007 and by the following summer, we’d quadrupled in size,’ reports Miriam Avraham, mother to Vinnie.

‘We were on our way,’ remarks Beth, ‘What had started off as a small program for our own children and their friends, had developed into something bigger and much more important. Today, Shutaf offers year-round activities to more than 300 children, teens and young adults.

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Inclusive Informal education opportunities for children with disabilities are limited in Israel. Shutaf is built on a American Jewish camping platform: Our post-army-aged staff members are trained and mentored, and values-based activities are planned with an educational mindset, unusual for Israeli informal education programs.

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In Israel, over 240,000 children, about 9% of the population, have some kind of disability. An estimated 1,495,000 Israeli adults also have disabilities. Young people and adults with disabilities are underemployed, and suffer terribly from problems related to loneliness, especially as they age. While laws are in place to ensure access – both to education at all levels, as well as access to public spaces and employment – compliance is elusive. (Statistics from JDC’s Brookdale Institute, 2017)

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Shutaf’s reverse-inclusion model serves participants with diverse developmental, physical, and learning disabilities, including, Autism spectrum disorders, Down syndrome, Cerebral palsy, ADD/ADHD, behavioral/emotional disorders (75% of participants), alongside participants without disabilities (25%). Shutaf’s inclusion ethos, professional program planning and staff training ensures an excellent program in a uniquely, accepting environment.

[trx_anchor title=”Community” description=”Bring Shutaf to Your Community” id=”toc_about4-community”]

Want a successful answer to your community’s informal education needs? Shutaf’s replicable, educational model works. Use our methodology for your youth programs – for children and teens. Consider our reverse inclusion model for your synagogue or community center’s day camp program. We’d love to help you get started with your own inclusion program.