Keren Or Jerusalem Center for Blind Children with Multiple Disabilities is 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to the education and care of children in Israel who are visually impaired and also cognitively, developmentally, and/or physically disabled. Our mission is to provide our students with comprehensive care, stimulating educational exercises, and rehabilitative therapies designed to help them reach their full potential and lead lives that are meaningful and productive.
Keren Or is the only therapy center of its kind in the world, under Jewish auspices, devoted exclusively to the visually impaired population. The Keren Or approach works with a lot of love, patience, and professionalism on the part of our dedicated team, persistent students, and supportive families. We focus optimistically on what each student might be able to achieve, if given the opportunity and the support.
Students of our nonresidential center utilize different therapy and educational services during the day and are able to go home and spend time with their families at night. Our facilities, dedicated staff, and individualized therapy programs allow each of our students to reach his or her maximum potential. To meet the individual needs of our students, who range in the severity of their disabilities, our staff of therapists and caregivers work together to create a comprehensive customized care plan for each child. Each day, we witness little miracles when a child learns to walk, or when a child discovers how to communicate, or when a child finds joy in music and play.
At Keren Or, we want all children to have the ability to simply be a child and as such, we provide top quality care and support for these children regardless of a family’s ability to pay. Keren Or’s New York office supports the Center in Jerusalem by communicating with and engaging donors, as well as providing opportunities for the community to get involved. With the help of our generous donors and funds from state and local municipalities, we aim to limit the financial burden on families so their children are able to benefit from the services provided by Keren Or.
We are fortunate to have a very involved board at Keren Or who both advocate for, and provide oversight of our work. The Women’s Division is an active part of outreach and fundraising efforts efforts for Keren Or, These dedicated women host a variety of social and cultural activities to connect potential and current supporters with our mission. B’nei Mitzvah-aged children, high school students, college students, young professionals, and adults of all ages can become involved with and support the Keren Or mission in New York City as well as on the ground in Israel.
Keren Or, Hebrew for Ray of Light, was founded in 1975 by a group of parents concerned with meeting the unique needs of their multi-disabled blind children. A recognized pioneer in the field of visual impairment and multiple-disability therapies, Keren Or remains committed to providing the best care for its students.
In May 2010, Board Chairman Dr. Edward L. Steinberg, a practicing Optometrist, initiated a partnership between Keren Or and the world-renowned Perkins School for the Blind in Massachusetts (best known for its most famous graduate, Helen Keller). Together, Keren Or and Perkins created “Building Connections,” a first-of-its-kind conference held in Israel, to educate over 300 people about the impact of vision loss combined with other disabilities. .. Perkins and, Keren Or are now working to develop a variety of programs designed to share knowledge with other organizations, professionals, and parent groups.
In 1991, our Ramot facility was completed, enabling Keren Or to introduce a variety of cutting edge therapies and expand enrollment. Hydrotherapy, a key component of programing at Keren Or, has proven to be one of our most effective offerings and, to accommodate growing needs, we opened a new Hydrotherapy Center in 2009. Today, our hydrotherapy offerings include multiple pools, ceiling lifts, and individual hydrotherapy cubicles, as well as shallow treatment areas for small children.