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SHEKEL celebrated its 30th Anniversary

Against a magnificent Jerusalem sunset, SHEKEL celebrated its 30th Anniversary on 9.9.09 with hundreds of guests at a gala opening of its new headquarters: The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Vocational Rehabilitation Building and Legacy Heritage Vocational Center. After a beautiful reception on the roof ,all catered in-house by our workers under the direction of Martha Hirsh, Nutrition Director, the Rooftop Therapy Garden was dedicated in the name of the donors, Leonore and the late Larry Zusman by their daughter Francie Zusman-Sina, her husband Avner Sina and her neice Sara Cole, in the presence of the Minister of Welfare and Social Services MK Yitzhak Herzog. The mezuzah at the center’s entrance was affixed by Prof. Shalom Rosenberg, parent and Dr. Zvi Feine, Deputy Director of JDC-Israel and one of SHEKEL’s founders. Additional dedications throughout the building were made by Mr. Yossi Tal-Gan, Chairman of SHEKEL, Adv. Anat Vilnai, Chairperson of SHEKEL Friends, Mr. Helmut Loeffler, representative of overseas volunteers, Stanley and Dr. Marlene Ringler, parents and volunteers and Mr. Ra’anan Dinur, volunteer and former Chief of Staff of the Prime Minister’s Office.


The program opened with SHEKEL’s new movie “We are the Heart of the Community”, followed by greetings from Minister Herzog, Mayor of Jerusalem Nir Barkat, representative of the National Insurance Institute Mrs. Brenda Morginstin, Mrs. Riva Muskal, CEO of the Shalem Fund, Ms. Osnat Drori, representative of the parents, Ayalon Ozeri, representative of the SHEKEL workers, Dr. Avi Lavsky, representative of the Legacy Heritage Fund on behalf of the donors and Mr. Yossi Tal-Gan, Chairman of SHEKEL.

A wide variety of musical entertainment was provided by participants in SHEKEL’s Si’im Cultural Program including a debka dance group, classical piano selections, operatic arias and other vocalists. 

The program was emceed by Mrs. Clara Feldman, CEO of SHEKEL, who traced the long path from dream to reality, resulting in the opening of SHEKEL’s new Vocational Rehabilitation Center, now providing full-time employment for 180 people with special needs making candles, soaps, cartons, handicrafts, packaging, assembling electrical components, preparing mass mailings and sewing textiles. But the goal is even more ambitious: to train people with special needs for regular jobs, and another 75 people work semi-independently under SHEKEL supervision in jobs all over Jerusalem in the Knesset, electrical company, offices, schools, hotels, cafes, stores, winery, bird-watching  station, re-cycling in city and government offices and more. The building also contains 2 libraries, conference and training rooms, a computer training center, a graphics studio and clubrooms. A gift shop and coffee shop will be opening soon.

Clara thanked the donors, particularly the Weinberg Foundation, Legacy Heritage Fund, the Wolfson Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Michael Bradfield, the Zusman Family, Partner/ Orange, Checkpoint, Foundation Dorset, the Ministry of Welfare and Social Services, the City of Jerusalem, the National Insurance Institute, the Shalem Fund and all the generous donors from Israel and abroad who helped SHEKEL build the new center.

Among the special guests was one of SHEKEL’s founders Mrs. Tamar Kollek, widow of Teddy Kollek, former mayor of Jerusalem..



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