Rivlin with the soldiers
Rivlin with the soldiers Mark Neiman/GPO

On Sunday, President Reuven Rivlin, hosted at the presidential residence young men and women with special needs who volunteered to serve in the IDF through the ‘Special in Uniform’ program.

‘Special in Uniform’ is a program of ‘Lend a Hand to a Special Child' that integrates young people with special needs in the IDF. Since 2014 over 650 young people have served in the IDF in 35 different bases. The young people contribute a great deal to the IDF in a range of different jobs, and are supported by the program’s professional support staff throughout their service. Maj-Gen (res) Gabi Ophir, chair of the ‘Special in Uniform’ association, Ariel Almog, founder of ‘Special in Uniform’ and participants, counselors and representatives of the association will also participate in the event. The special program was established by 'Lend-A-Hand to A Special Child' in cooperation with JNF-USA

The president welcomed everyone to the presidential residence and said, “the IDF is the people’s army. We have a diverse population, and the IDF must be diverse and include difference within it. I congratulate the IDF, which has proved it is able to enlist everyone who can contribute. It is a privilege, as well as an obligation, to do everything we can to share the burden in every sphere of life, including in the IDF.

The president added, “when you joined the IDF, not only you benefited. Your commanders benefited. The IDF benefited. The whole of Israeli society benefited. ‘Special in Uniform’ shows us that we can overcome limitations, but that we need a hand to do so. I want to thank your families in particular – parents and other family members – and to the commanders who support and appreciate you.”