New York, June 25, 2013…..AMIT, a network of 108 schools and programs in Israel, is the recipient of a $50,000 Ruderman Prize in Disability, presented by the Ruderman Family Foundation of Boston. The prize recognizes organizations operating innovative programs and services dedicated to the full inclusion of people with disabilities in their local Jewish community.
The other winners included B’nai Amoona Synagogue in St. Louis, Missouri; United Herzlia Schools in Cape Town, South Africa, Fundaciόn Judaica in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and the Sunflower Bakery in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Almost 250 organizations applied for the prize this year.
More than 1,000 children with disabilities are mainstreamed in AMIT schools throughout Israel, with full inclusion in classes, social activities and extracurricular programs. These schools range from comprehensive, community elementary and junior/senior high schools to high level yeshiva high schools.
“All of us at AMIT are very grateful for this generous grant,” commented Debbie Isaac, president of AMIT. “It is a priority throughout the AMIT Network to mainstream children with special challenges so that they receive valuable skills, a quality education and are prepared for adult life. This prize will help AMIT continue to fulfill these important goals.”
The Ruderman Family Foundation focuses primarily on two issues: disability advocacy in the Jewish community, and strengthening the relationship between Israelis and American Jews. This is the second year the foundation has presented the Prize in Disability.
AMIT enables Israel›s youth to realize their potential and strengthens Israeli society by educating and nurturing children from diverse backgrounds within a framework of academic excellence, religious values and Zionist ideals.
Some 70 percent of AMIT students live in development towns or other “peripheral” areas of the country. AMIT approaches each child as an individual, maximizing his or her potential, and enabling our students to become vital, productive members of Israeli society. The AMIT schools promote religious tolerance, service to the state and the recognition that every child is blessed with unique talents and abilities. Founded in 1925, AMIT today serves more than 26,000 students from kindergarten though junior college.