KESHER is the Home for the Special Families. In Israel there are 310,000 children with special needs. Behind each child is a family. These families are the source of hope for their children, and KESHER exists for these families. KESHER is unique and innovative; it is the only organization in Israel which focuses on the family of the disabled person – the parents, siblings and wider family, based on the assumption that empowered, involved and motivated parents and family members are the very source of hope and strength for their children. We operate with and for all special families; we strive to illuminate their daily, never-ending dedication and efforts for their special children, and offer them support and backing in their long, complex journey. We work cooperatively with many organizations which focus on the handicapped child. Our specialty lies in targeting the child’s immediate circle – parents and family members. By strengthening the family unit we assist its success in raising the special-needs child. Our target population, special families, refers to families in which a child suffers from any disability, from birth through age 21, and in all areas of life.
KESHER strives towards significant social change by strengthening the status of parents and families with a handicapped child, promoting their rights and the utilization of these rights, and developing further services that will benefit and empower them. Kesher operates a range of such services for special families, including a Center for information, guidance and advocacy, groups offering support and parental guidance, as well as groups for additional family members (siblings and grandparents), workshops on parenting the special child, etc… Kesher also operates programs for the empowerment of special families within communities, cities and regions in Israel, programs such as the Special Parents’ Initiators Incubator; Parents Leadership in the Periphery and the Arab Sector; Centers for Special Parents directed and maintained by special families; campaigns for the Special Family on Israel’s Family Day; training special parents to mentor others and more. These activities and programs have transformed KESHER into the leading organization for special families and parents, regardless of type of handicap and demographics. We are a home and community for special families.
To strive for a society which guarantees that families with a special-needs child will have available all the conditions necessary to raise their child with respect and dignity, as is their right, from within a position of strength and involvement, and which will offer the children and families opportunities for a complete life in society including education, health, employment and attaining positive well-being.
Kesher operates in national and regional units. Our national units include:
Information Center – distributes comprehensive, up-to-date information, guidance and assistance in utilizing rights.
Training Unit – creates a significant change in society’s attitudes towards special parents and families, with particular emphasis on seminars and trainings for professionals on partnering with parents; trainings on parenting the special child.
Content Unit – bringing updated information from Israel and abroad in the areas of health, education, rights, psychology, research… and making this accessible to parents and professionals. We view information as a source of empowerment and tools for successfully coping with and advancing the special child and a resource for raising consciousness regarding status and rights, and creating for families a virtual stage to voice their thoughts, experience and advice.
Unit for Partners and Clients –maintains on-going, interactive contact with parents for relaying information, delivery of services and creating a group with social strength.
National unit specifically serving new immigrants.
Kesher’s regional units are located in Jerusalem, Tel
Aviv, Haifa and Beer-Sheva. They offer services on the local level, covering all the regions of Israel. Three regional units offer unique services to Arab special families. All the units operate a wide range of services and programs designed to empower the parents and families so as to enable a higher level of quality in their lives.
Staff members of Kesher speak different languages: Hebrew, Arabic, English, Russian, and benefit from the committed and enthusiastic participation of parent – activists and university student volunteers who, together, offer a wide range of answers and services adapted to thousands of families each year.