Beach Yossi Zeliger, Flash 90

For the first time, Israel will have a separate handicapped-accessible beach.

The Ashdod beach will have an access route which goes right up to the water line, allowing Israel's handicapped population to preserve their modesty and enjoy a separate and accessible beach.

"Refuah V'simcha," an organization which helps sick and needy people, worked for several months in order to allow hundreds of physically handicapped religious people to enjoy a beach they would feel comfortable at.

"Many people ask what it means to make a beach handicapped-accessible," Refuah V'simcha Chairman Yisrael Seshensky said. "This question usually stems from a lack of knowledge and understanding of how handicapped people live."

"The simple, everyday acts which humans over the world are used to performing used to be impossible for the handicapped person.

"Reaching the sea is nearly impossible for those in wheelchairs, because the sandy beach is nearly impassable for them. The wheels just get stuck and sink in the sand. You can't move forward. Also, entering the water in a wheelchair is dangerous and prohibited."

Seshensky also noted that the beach will be made accessible by volunteers.

"Members of Refuah V'simcha will make all the arrangements necessary," he said. "They will prepare the beach and pave a path which will reach until the water. Dozens of volunteers will accompany the handicapped and help them feel safe and happy, and we'll have special wheelchairs which can be used in the water and are equipped with all the necessary safety features."

"Refuah V'simcha thanks the Ashdod municipality and its Beach Division, which assisted us us in making the beach accessible and bringing a happiness to thousands of disabled citizens."