JDC Israel-Unlimited

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Israel-Unlimited was established as a partnership between JDC Israel, the Israeli government, and the Ruderman Family Foundation, as a leading developer and provider of services and programs for people with disabilities in Israel. It operates to promote independent life within the community, inclusion within society, and a human-oriented approach.

Israel-Unlimited adopted the Friendig model, to promote the inclusion of new members in social circles across Israel, where they can meet members that they would not have had the chance to know otherwise. The program involves people with and without disabilities, to enable them to learn from each other, alter their perspective towards the disabled, and become ambassadors on their behalf.

The program runs in four different verticals, including universities and academic institutions, communities, business companies, and leadership.

  1. Academia: Creating a positive social and educational environment for students with disabilities, through activities that change people’s perspective, while also bringing to a rise in the number of students with disabilities that enroll and successfully complete their higher academic studies
  2. Community: Activities that change perceptions in topics of interest shared by the general public in its entirety, including culture, and leisure and sports, create a solid platform for an open discussion and familiarity with the forces and capacities of people with disabilities.
  3. Leadership: Exposing and raising the awareness of community leaders and service providers to the needs and rights of people with disabilities, and to altering the approach of society towards them. These leaders will influence the entire community
  4. Business companies: Changing the approach towards people with disabilities through joint activities with them, in order to get to know them, experience, and connect with these individuals on a personal level, leading to appreciating them for their capabilities instead of simply identifying them by their disabilities.

The Friending program is an Israel-Unlimited initiative, and The Ted Arison Family Foundation chose to support its activities with a long-term grant of eight years, from 2012 to 2019, totaling $680,000.