Monday, 2 January 2012

Disabilities, Israel and Olim

Being an Occupational Therapist, I am used to working with the disabled population. Did you know it is not so easy to get information as to the rights of disabled Yidden to make Aliyah? Well, if you know someone who has a disability and has made Aliyah, you stand more of a chance of obtaining the information you require. For me, I tried emailing certain offices that I would think should provide this information only to discover after several emails I still had no reply. The one reply I did receive was a Shaliach admitting that probably the offices are avoiding the question in order not to have to take responsibility. 

Is that acceptable? Is that how we as Yidden treat those who have a more difficult path in this life? Surely if they are Jewish with a Jewish mother, then they have a right to live in Eretz Yisrael?

If you do know someone who is disabled and made Aliyah, please do write in. We would like to know how your Aliyah is going, what your process had been like and any other tips you can offer to other disabled Yidden who want to make Aliyah.

Of course, we would prefer that we have Moshiach and all Yidden are fit and healthy, but in the meantime, do send in any useful info or comments.

In this series of posts, we hope to post information about Disability Grants, information on disabilities in Israel.


  1. I made aliyah with my 2 month old daughter two years ago. (She's now 2 years old.) She was diagnosed with congenital CMV about a week after we arrived. We didn't really know what, if any, her disabilities would be, but we got into the betuach leumi system around her first birthday and received some retroactive payments.

    Your payment is based on a number of factors and that might be why it is hard to pin down an answer before making aliyah. For the more severely disabled, it takes several meetings to decide on different benefits. We are going through the process again in anticipation of my daughter turning three. For her, it begins with a child development specialist "hitpatchut hayeled," then a couple other boards to place her in an appropriate school.

    All I can say, is it's worth taking the leap and making alyiah, especially for those with mental disabilities. We are SO happy to be here and very happy with all the benefits and excellent care my daughter gets. The biggest hurdle is getting into the system. Depending on the severity of the case, it can be very tough to have a gap in benefits. You will probably also loose US social security benefits by not being a resident of a state, though you may still pay social security if you are a US citizen. (Ugh!!) If you have a physical handicap, consider living in newer or better kept cities. I've heard it is very hard to navigate Jerusalem in a wheel chair. I've found Petach Tikva to be rather easy on my stroller, though it drives me crazy when people park on the side walks.

    Though we don't usually talk about these things, I am also impressed with what I've seen of Israel's adult living facilities for mentally disabled. Maybe it is selfish, but I would like to be an "empty nester" one day, and I know there are many excellent options for my daughter to lead a meaningful life and for us to see her all the time, and it won't bankrupt us.

    I would be happy to help in anyway I can if anyone would like to contact me. Mostly I know about Petach Tikva, Schneider children's hospital, and early childhood education and therapy. I have three other kids, my oldest daughter is in first grade and we just had our first baby born in Israel.

  2. Myriam Obadia mpobadia@yahoo.com12 January 2012 at 11:40

    I am disabled. I made Aliyah last May, and what you say is absolutely true. No one helps at all. The Misrat HaKlita, when it gives any information, is either false or outdated. In some town, only one immigrant population is granted any help (in Ashkelon, only Russian is spoken in the offices even though the majority of immigrants are from Ethiopia). Do you know were I can address myself to have my US disability recognized in Israel?

  3. What you say is absolutely true. As a new -and disabled- olah I am lost amongst problems I don't know how to solve. Can someone help me navigate the Israeli administration and get my US disabilities recognized so that I'm not left homeless and without income at the end of my 1st year here (May 2012)?



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