We spend our whole lives learning from friends. But too often, our friends come from similar backgrounds with similar experiences. Israel Unlimited adopted the Friending model to bring new friends into the lives of people all over Israel—friends they may not have made otherwise. Indeed, the four segments of the Friending program unite people with and without disabilities in social and educational situations to learn and grow from each other to change social viewpoints on disability and create brand new disability advocates.
Friending operates in four distinct ways. Events are held for student groups at 12 different higher education campuses in Israel to bring disabled and non-disabled students together. Social enterprise and communications courses are also offered for university credit, with disabled students invited to learn with non-disabled students in an enriching, welcoming environment. Friending also exists in the religious sphere, as JDC has developed courses for rabbis and imams to learn with and about disabled people to encourage them to make their communities more inclusive. And lastly, Friending in the business world: the program is breaking down employment stigmas by having businessmen meet and volunteer with people with disabilities.
Friendship is a powerful tool. And Friending is using it to create a more open, inclusive society.
For questions, contact Rotem Philipps at RotemPh@jdc.org.
The mission of Beit Issie Shapiro (BIS) is to provide cutting-edge services to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities, and to effect social change by breaking down the barriers preventing people with disabilities from full societal integration, assuring them the rights and opportunities for maximum growth and development.1
The National Union of Israeli Students has been the representative body of students throughout Israel since 1934. Today, NUIS represents more than 300,000 students in over 64 universities and colleges. The Student Union believes that beyond their role of acquiring knowledge, students have the ability and responsibility to build and shape the society they live in and make a considerable impact in the long term.2
929 Bible Study Project and Israel Unlimited's Friending Program, are coming together for accessible study in Jerusalem. We will meet on Thursday nights at 8:00pm, every two weeks, for a lecture from one of Israel's leading bible scholars, followed by a roundtable discussion on bible, accessibility and community, moderated by 929 staff.