May 21, 2024
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Special in Uniform Firefighter Helps Get Israel’s Blazes Under Control

Although the fires in Israel are now under control, they left devastation in their wake. Complete neighborhoods were evacuated, forests burned, main roads closed and thousands lost their homes.

Fire crews in Israel, including the army firefighters, worked around the clock to contain and extinguish a series of massive brush fires. Everyone was on call. The weather conditions did not help the firefighting efforts. Israel’s firefighting capacity was stressed near to its limits and firefighting planes from all over the world went to Israel to help with the firefighting efforts.

Amid the destruction, devastation and depression, there emerged a story of hope about a special firefighter, a story of a dream that became reality with the help of Special in Uniform. Moshe, a young boy with an intellectual disability, dreamed of being a firefighter. When his sister and his friends received their orders to enlist, Moshe decided that he wanted to enlist as well. When he first approached an officer in the IDF enlistment office at the age of 18, he was immediately told that his disability would prevent him from serving. But Moshe’s heart was set and his mind was made up, and he said, “I want to serve in the army. I want to wear a uniform!”

Special in Uniform made his dream come true. He is now serving in the IDF as a firefighter on an Air Force base.

Special in Uniform is a unique program, now operating in partnership with Jewish National Fund (JNF), which integrates young people with autism and other disabilities into the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and, in turn, into Israeli society. Its core belief is that everyone belongs and has the right to reach his or her full potential. Special in Uniform focuses on the unique talents of each individual participant to help them find a job within the IDF that is a perfect fit for their skills, while still allowing them to help keep Israel safe and secure.

Special in Uniform is changing the fabric of Israeli society, helping create a more caring and inclusive society in Israel by promoting inclusion of people with disabilities in the IDF on a national level.

Please join the Jewish National Fund of Northern New Jersey at its annual Teaneck reception, to be held on December 12 at 7pm at Congregation Beth Shalom. The Circle of Excellence Award recipients will be Toby & Peter Glick and Mordechai Ungar. The guest speaker will be Lt. Col. (Res.) Ariel Almog, chairman of Special in Uniform, who will discuss “Inclusiveness: The IDF’s Approach to Israel’s Forgotten.”

For information or to make a reservation, please contact Jocelyn Inglis at [email protected] or 973-593-0095 x823.

Congregation Beth Shalom is located at 354 Maitland Ave. in Teaneck.

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