2016-06-08 / Federation

Helping 30,000 special needs individuals enjoy nature

A leading organization in Israel that makes nature truly accessible to children and adults with special needs is LOTEM, which serves individuals with visual and hearing impairments, as well as those with physical, intellectual, and emotional challenges. Also helped are children on the autism spectrum and at risk youth and mothers and children residing in shelters for victims of domestic violence. At LOTEM, these individuals—and more—can experience nature in a safe and nurturing environment with accessible hikes and educational activities.

With one center on an ecological farm in the picturesque Emek HaShalom (Valley of Peace) Nature Park near Yokneam and one in Jerusalem, LOTEM enables more than 30,000 participants to take part in nature activities every year.

After a visit to LOTEM during the Jewish Federation’s 2014 Israel mission trip, our mission delegates wanted our South Jersey community to support LOTEM in a tangible way. They pledged to build a fully accessible, protective classroom at LOTEM where visitors can seek safety in the event of an emergency— something that was lacking at LOTEM previously.

The building of that protective classroom is complete, but the work isn’t done yet. We need to raise $50,000 to complete our commitment to LOTEM. Help us in our commitment to building a safer tomorrow for our sister communities in Israel. Donate today at jewishsouthjersey.org/lotem

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