Israeli disability NGO Beit Issie Shapiro is marking a new beginning in the field of disabilities and inclusion with a limited-time Graffiti Pop-Up Museum.
The leading disability organization is building Israel’s very first Inclusive Early Childhood Campus in place of their renowned De Lowe Early Intervention Center. Before demolition of the Early Intervention Center, Beit Issie Shapiro chose to honor its hallmark project with a celebration of expressive art by inviting 50 street artists to graffiti its walls alongside Beit Issie Shapiro staff, children and families. The spray-painted walls tell the tale of the Center’s rich forty-year history- a story of love and support for families of toddlers with disabilities, the growth and development of these toddlers and hopes and dreams for bright futures as part of an inclusive society with opportunity for people of all abilities.
Beit Issie Shapiro’s De Lowe Early Intervention Center was the first of its kind in Israel. Since its inception, and with the creation of The Rehabilitative Daycare Law in the year 2000, there are now over 130 Early Intervention Centers throughout the country built in accordance with Beit Issie Shapiro’s verified model. This changed the reality of services for toddlers with disabilities and their families in Israel.
The new Inclusive Early Childhood Campus at Beit Issie Shapiro will serve as a new model to change the face of inclusion of people with disabilities in our society. The Campus will include preschool classes for children, ages birth through three years old, with and without disabilities and will create one inclusive community to answer the therapeutic, educational and social needs of children of all abilities and their families. This initiative is the outcome of a three-year early childhood pilot program run together with Beit Issie Shapiro, the American Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), Israel’s Ministry of Education and Boxenbaum-Neta Foundation. The pilot demonstrates that inclusive environments are more beneficial to both children with and without disabilities. Once built, Beit Issie Shapiro will be the first organization in Israel to implement inclusion for infants with and without disabilities in a campus specially designed for inclusion.
Ahmir Lerner, Executive Director of Beit Issie Shapiro shares, “With the Inclusive Early Childhood Campus at Beit Issie Shapiro, we are molding a new reality within our society and fostering acceptance of people with disabilities from the earliest of ages. The vision is to have the next generation grow up in a world where people with and without disabilities play together, interact and see each other as equals. A world in which inclusion is not an issue since there is never any separation. This campus will serve as a best practice to share for other similar campuses to be built. This will change the face for inclusion in our society both in Israel and ultimately across the globe.”
The Graffiti Pop-Up Museum is open to the public Sunday December 25 – Thursday, December 29, 2022 at Beit Issie Shapiro in Ra’anana, Israel.
Photo Credit: Talya Shapiro