Israel National News TV took part on Sunday in a special event organized by Café Meyuchad (translation: special coffeehouse). The coffee and the food were indeed special, but what makes the coffeehouse truly special are the people who operate it, all of whom have Down Syndrome.
“The special coffeehouse is a unique social project which in essence combines a high-quality culinary experience with giving people with special needs an opportunity,” explained manager Hadas Lixenberg. “We give people with Down Syndrome who are over 21 years of age the opportunity to come and be waiters.”
Lixenberg noted the coffeehouse's great success and the acceptance that it has received from the crowd at large. “Until a person sees the special coffeehouse with his own eyes he doesn’t really understand what we’re talking about,” she said. "But the crowd really encourages it and people come and accept this coffeehouse as a coffeehouse like any other. Just as you have all the other coffeehouses in Israeli society, you have the special coffeehouse which, thank G-d, is doing well.”
She noted that the special project gives the staff “independence, self-confidence, and a sense of equality. It really enriches them and of course, the get tips, which always make them very happy.”
INN TV's visit to the special coffeehouse took place as part of Donna, a designers fair for religious women which took place at the Tel Aviv Port. The fair is an initiative of the managers of the special coffeehouse and all its proceeds go towards the operation costs of this social project.