Israel Unlimited Partnership gets $12.5 million to help the disabled

NEW YORK (JTA) — Israel Unlimited Partnership, an Israeli group that helps the disabled, received $12.5 million from the Israeli government, the Ruderman Family Foundation and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.

The latest commitment came from the JDC, which said Monday that it would match the Ruderman Foundation’s $4 million donation to the group. The Israeli government will provide the rest of the funds.

“We want Israel to be second to none in its inclusion of people with disabilities throughout society,” said Jay Ruderman, president of the Ruderman Family Foundation. “Our strategic effort has enabled the implementation of nationwide change through innovative programs that ensure, above all, that people with disabilities are full members of Israel’s national tapestry.”

Founded in 2009, Israel Unlimited Partnership provides transportation and care to thousands of physically impaired Israelis. It also has been active in curbing violence against the disabled in immigrant and Arab societies.

The group said it will use the new funding to integrate disabled members of the country’s haredi Orthodox community into the workforce by teaching them new skills and connecting them with potential employers.

There are nearly 1 million disabled adults in Israel, according to the JDC. Nearly 20 percent of them have moderate to severe disabilities. Approximately 52 percent of disabled Israelis are employed, compared to 74 percent of the general population. On average, disabled Israelis earn approximately $580 less per month than the general population.

“I would like to commend the partnership for people with disabilities between the Welfare Ministry, JDC and the Ruderman Family Foundation,”  said Moshe Kahlon, Israel’s minister of welfare and social services. “This partnership promotes their status and develops services to advance the inclusion of people with disabilities in society.”

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