LOTEM

Accessibility: Freedom To Be In Nature

Nearly two years have passed since I completed my national service as a guide with LOTEM in Jerusalem but every time that I return to guide a group, that amazing feeling of being part of something big comes back to me.  LOTEM’s outings to nature impact so many people with special needs and essentially give them the ability to experience a sense of normalcy--what they deserve as human beings who live in this beautiful world that surrounds us. 

Lotem participants. Courtesy of Lotem

Silent Lessons: Hiking With Israel's Association Of The Deaf

In LOTEM, we guide groups of people with special needs in nature and after a year, I can say wholeheartedly that I have gained experience working with a wide range of populations. 

Tali Nahir

People With Disabilities Help An IDF Recruit Deepen Her Love Of The Land

Before enlisting in the Israel Defense Forces, I put a lot of consideration into where I wanted to serve.  I thought about how I would be able to make the most of my abilities and how I could best contribute.  I understood that I would have to do something that I loved and felt connected to. 

Yael Bar with Nina Paul and a group of children with disabilities. Photo courtesy LOTEM - Making Nature Accessible

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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