Welcome to Keren Or
MissionKeren Or aims to provide education and rehabilitation programs for children who are blind with multiple disabilities. It is the only center of its kind in the world under Jewish auspices devoted exclusively to this population. Keren Or aims to limit the economic burden on families and relies on funds from the state, local municipalities, and generous donors. Keren Or's facilities, dedicated staff, and individualized therapy programs allow each student to reach his or her maximum potential.
HistoryFounded by a group of parents concerned with caring for the needs of their children, Keren Or has grown to become the advanced institution it is today. It has been recognized as a pioneer in the field of visual impairment and multiple disability since its inception and remains committed to providing the best care for its students.
Keren Or's current ultra-modern facility was completed in 1991 in Ramot, Jerusalem. Committed to hydrotherapy in its earliest years, Keren Or's first pool was constructed soon after in 1992. Keren Or has continued to champion the benefits of hydrotherapy and, to accommodate a growing population, dedicated a new Hydrotherapy Center in 2009.
In May 2010, Keren Or partnered with the world-renowned Perkins School for the Blind in Massachusetts (best known for its most famous graduate, Helen Keller) to present "Building Connections," a first-of-its-kind conference held in Israel to offer learning opportunities for professionals working with childhood visual impairment and other disabilities. Chairman of the Board of Keren Or, Dr. Edward L. Steinberg, himself an optometrist, initiated the partnership. More than 300 participants had the opportunity to learn about the impact of vision loss when combined with the other disabilities that students have. Together with Perkins, Keren Or is developing partnership programs to share knowledge with other organizations, professionals, and parent groups.
FacilityHigh in the hills of Ramot, overlooking the city of Jerusalem, sits the campus of Keren Or (Hebrew for Ray of Light). Keren Or is housed in the modern Sabbah Center, which is equipped with many unique features specially designed for our students, including:
The Center offers a state-of-the-art hydrotherapy complex with multiple pools and specialized equipment including an electronic lift, individual hydrotherapy cubicles, and shallow treatment areas for small children.
ProgramsThe combination of vision impairment and cognitive and physical disabilities means that each student has unique learning needs. Activities at Keren Or require special techniques designed to address the students' complex challenges. Upon arrival, each child is evaluated by a team of professionals and given a personally tailored educational and therapeutic curriculum. Some of Keren Or's innovative therapy programs include music, art, physical, occupational, and hydro-therapy.
Long a cornerstone of treatment at Keren Or, the benefits of hydrotherapy are manifold. Surrounded by warm, soothing water, tight muscles relax and students can experience movement in a safe and supervised environment. Many Keren Or students have taken their first steps during hydrotherapy sessions and have begun to walk independently after years of therapy. The impact on their self-esteem is beyond measure and it radiates from their faces in pure joy.
Keren Or also operates a day center for adults whom are multi-disabled. The center features training in household and vocational skills, constant stimulation and a high staff/adult ratio. The day center offers a full, meaningful daily schedule with specially adapted work opportunities, a wage system, opportunity for social contact, therapies and activities.Our participants show great pride and eagerness in their employment; for the first time in their lives, they are given the opportunity to earn money and plan, with their caregivers, how they will use their wages. This experience enhances motivation, confidence, and self-esteem.
The New York office of Keren Or works to support the Center in Jerusalem by communicating with and engaging donors to allow Keren Or to serve more children and provide them with the best care. Keren Or also provides opportunities for Bar/Bat Mitzvah students, high school and college students, and young professionals to support the Center by spreading awareness, fundraising, and volunteering.