JNF event looks at IDF special needs initiative

Lt. Col. (Res.) Tiran Attia (right), director of Special in Uniform, a program that integrates young people with autism and other disabilities into the Israel Defense Forces, will be the guest speaker at a JNF event in St. Louis on March 31. 

Jewish National Fund will host a community reception on Sunday, March 31 at the Hilton St. Louis Frontenac, 1335 South Lindbergh Blvd. This free event will feature guest speaker Lt. Col. (Res.) Tiran Attia, the director of Special in Uniform. The reception will be held from 3 to 4:30 p.m. and RSVP is available at jnf.org/stl.

Attia serves as the director of Special in Uniform, a program that aims to integrate young people with autism and other disabilities into the Israel Defense Forces and, in turn, into Israeli society. After their service, Special in Uniform helps usher its graduates toward a self-sufficient life, through employment or other meaningful societal involvement, once they are discharged from the army. 

“As the mother of a former IDF lone soldier, I know first-hand about the strength of community that is built through Israeli army service,” says Jenny Wolkowitz, who is co-chairing the event with Traci Goldstein. “For those young people who can’t participate in army service, for health reasons, they are at a major disadvantage in Israeli society. To find meaningful participation for these soldiers, allowing them to integrate into Israeli society, is truly a mitzvah of the highest order.”

As part of its focus on improving the quality of life in Israel for all its citizens, JNF hopes to ensure that no member of Israeli society is left behind. Through a variety of initiatives and partnerships, JNF is providing state-of-the-art rehabilitative services, special education and medical care in areas where they were previously unavailable. Beyond the medical, JNF is also ensuring that recreational facilities, including forests, parks, picnic areas, playgrounds and nature trails, are inclusive for visitors of all ability levels. 

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For more information on this event or ways to get involved with JNF in St. Louis, contact Kim Levy at [email protected] or 314-635-0400.