Alisa Bodner's blog

The Freedom Of Nature: Making Hiking Accessible To All Students

This past winter, LOTEM - Making Nature Accessible organized a hike for both Plagim School's Keren Or (Ray of Light) special needs class and fifth grade regular education class. Two students, one with special needs (Rom) and one from the regular education class (Gal), shared their experiences in a conversation with LOTEM on what going out to nature means to them.

Participants on a hike in Israel. Courtesy of Lotem

LOTEM's First Employee With Special Needs: LOTEM To Me

Alisa Bodner shares this blog written by the first employee with special needs that LOTEM, an Israeli agency making nature accessible for all people, has hired.

My name is Amichay Turgeman. I am 27 years old.  I am just completing my first year working with LOTEM.

Shir And Shira Speak: What Our First Overnight Hike Was Like

This past spring, the Dekalim School in Be’er Sheva for teenagers with intellectual disorders went on a hike with LOTEM -- a JNF partner organization that makes nature accessible to children and adults in Israel with special needs. This outing was the students’ first overnight trip, and despite the fears of students and teachers alike, it was an incredible success. Below is an excerpt that I translated from an article that Shir and Shira, two students from Dekalim, wrote about their experiences hiking with LOTEM.

We want to say that this trip was an unforgettable experience. We want to tell everything that we experienced, so here goes. First of all, we really liked the first day when we traveled to Habonim Beach, and we really enjoyed the activities and we liked traveling to Acre.  We went boating and we danced and it was fun – a lot of fun. After that we traveled to Rosh Hanikra and we traveled on the trolley and we saw beautiful and special sites.

Shira Bilicks

What Stav Learned: There Is No Such Thing As A 'Normal' Person

Editor’s Note: This past school year, Alon and Gida, students in the Ben Yehuda School for children with special needs and Stav and Noam, students in the Tali Bet Chinuch School, were selected by their teachers to write about their experiences in LOTEM, an organization in Israel that offers hikes and educational nature activities to people with disabilities. Alon, Goda, Stav and Noam’s program brings together children with disabilities and those from a regular education class. They also wrote as a group about their experience. One of the students from the regular education class wrote while the other children dictated. Then Alisa Bodner, who works with both LOTEM and its partner, The Jewish National Fund, translated the piece into English and indicated which student made individual remarks. 

Gida and Stav. Photo courtesy LOTEM
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