Daily Israel Report

IDF Chief of Staff, DM, Meet with Mentally Disabled Soldiers

Developmentally disabled soldiers in the IDF met Wednesday with the Chief of Staff and the Defense Minister.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 4/14/2011, 11:14 AM / Last Update: 4/14/2011, 10:53 AM

IDF Spokesperson's Office

IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Ganz and Defense Minister Ehud Barak met Wednesday with soldiers who are developmentally disabled.

The defense establishment's top brass presented the IDF's special soldiers with Passover haggadahs illustrated by the children of Akim, an organization for children with disabilities.

The soldiers - Cpl. Amit Rinder, Cpl. Fazit Rubin and Sergeant Gilad Rozdiel - serve in the IDF's Tel HaShomer base. Their service comes as part of a program to recruit people with mental retardation to carry out their mandatory service in the IDF. The program is administered with the assistance of Akim and the Ministry of Social Services.

At present there are some 45 people participating in various stages of the program, including two who have already completed their service and have been discharged.

The main purpose of the program is to strengthen the personal safety and abilities of individuals with developmental disabilities, and to help integrate them into mainstream Israeli society.