The Birthright Israel Program promotes inclusion for people with developmental disabilities as they experience and enjoy Israel while nurturing ongoing friendships through the tremendous opportunity and generosity extended by Birthright Israel. The program is offered to all young Jewish people between the ages of 18 and 26. Through the collaboration of Reena and Canada Israel Experience (CIE), people with developmental disabilities who fit the requirements are also included as participants.
Reena provides training for prospective shadows for people with developmental disabilities and meets with prospective participants to determine if they are appropriate for the trip. A special fund has been set up at Reena Foundation, known as The Reena Birthright Shadow Program Fund, which covers half the cost of a shadow for each trip.
In the many years that Reena and CIE have worked together to include individuals with developmental disabilities on the trip, the impact has been magnified not just for the participants with special needs and their extended families and friends, but for the rest of the folks on the trip who never fail to reach out and embrace their new friends, often for the long term.
This has opened doors for understanding, compassion and appreciation of the gifts individuals with developmental disabilities have to offer.
To apply for a free trip to Israel click here.