Maximizing capabilities, regardless of disabilities

Bnai Zion Foundation has embraced people with disabilities and opportunities to maximize their potential since the early days of the organization. The Zvi Quittman Center provides supports for the day-to-day life of adults who have intellectual or developmental disabilities.

“Bnai Zion and Israel Elwyn have been partners in improving the lives of Israelis with intellectual and other disabilities for over 30 years. Israel Elwyn is committed to meeting international standards and state-of-the-art methodology.”
— David Marcu, CEO of Israel Elwyn

Providing housing and programming for people with disabilities

Over 50 years ago, Bnai Zion Foundation built a residential center for people with intellectual and physical disabilities in Jerusalem. In 1988, Israel Elwyn took over management of Bnai Zion’s Zvi Quittman Center from the Israeli government, and Bnai Zion Foundation has been a major supporter ever since.

Israel Elwyn’s Supported Living Services provides supports for the day-to-day life of adults who have intellectual or developmental disabilities, most of whom also have psychiatric, physical, sensory and/or serious health issues and all of whom are in need of significant supports. The residents range in age from over 21 to 80, but people living in the Quittman Center are largely seniors.

Improving quality of life for all of Israel’s people

Bnai Zion has worked with Israel Elwyn Supported Living Services to create lasting enhancements in the lives of its residents. The Zvi Quittman Supported Living Center is named for Bnai Zion’s former Executive Vice President, the late Herman Quittman. It is comprised of a number of apartments housing ten residents each, allowing residents to enjoy the privacy and opportunities afforded by a less “institutional” lifestyle. This departure from the dormitory-style of living has greatly improved the quality of life of the residents, and has been instrumental in providing them with greater privacy and fostering their independence.

Residents of the Quittman Center have access to the campus’s Employment Training Center, where many are taught basic work skills. Medical and dental services are also available on-campus, including professional clinics for women’s health and neurology.

Apartment-style living supports independence among people with disabilities

278 people with disabilities live in Israel Elwyn’s residential programs, with 49 people living at the Quittman Center. This number has decreased over time, and with good reason; currently, Israel Elwyn is shifting its residential services from the campus model to supported living in the community. The apartment-style living model represents a major improvement in supporting independence among people with disabilities.

Bnai Zion Foundation is currently partnering with Israel Elwyn on their ongoing move of residents from the Supported Living Services to the community. We are raising funds to create the infrastructure that will enable a group of current residents of the Supported Living Services to move to six apartments throughout Jerusalem. We will also need to secure long-term rentals for Israel Elwyn, so that they can alter the apartments to accommodate the needs of their residents, many of whom require mobility aids such as wheelchairs and walkers.

Embracing people with disabilities and maximizing
their potential to determine their own lives.