Ezer Mitzion’s Respite Program for Children with Special Needs

Empowering children and giving caregivers respite


Ezer Mitzion’s respite program, allows your child to benefit from a change of scenery by spending  time with a host family  in a warm, supportive and caring environment. The program is designed to empower children, promoting their independence, whilst simultaneously giving caregivers a well deserved break.  

Host families are individually chosen  to meet children’s needs, and are trained by Specialist  staff to care for their special guests.  

Parents can choose their child’s host family from people they already know,  or from the pool of host families at “Ezer Mitzion.”All host families, undergo rigorous testing and training process and are monetarily compensated for hosting children.

  • The service is provided under the supervision of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services and supervised by qualified Social Workers.
  • The program is available Israel-wide and available year round, including Shabbat and Chagim
  • Professional Staff accompany the host family during the child’s stay
  • The service is open to all citizens of Israel, irrespective of religion, race or gender
  • There is an 24-hour emergency response

Target Population and Eligibility

Children and teens meeting the following criteria:

  • Aged 3-21 years old (in specific cases from 0-3 and 21-25)
  • Registered in one of three programs with Misrad Harevacha – Ministry of Social Affairs, Department for People with an Intellectual disability,  Department for  Treatment for People with Autism and  Department for Rehabilitation.

How to participate in the program?

  • Interested families are advised to contact the secretary of the program,  to join the database of host families.
  • Contact the Ezer Mitzion  respite program, via phone 073-3956783/4, or by email: chavim@ami.org.il Fax: 073-951120

Important Information:

  • The host family receives payments for hosting and accommodation, (the payment amounts to 180 Shekel for a midweek stay and 360 shekel for a weekend.

For more information from Ezer Mitzion click here.

People with Disabilities

Information in English for people with disabilities!

Thousands of Israelis have disabilities of various types including physical, emotional and intellectual disabilities. Many of these people and their families are entitled to a wide range of services, benefits and support of which they very well might not be aware.


Did you know…


As part of our on-going collaboration with Kol-Zchut, we are proud to have translated and published a comprehensive portal in English for people with disabilities. For more information including details and links related to accessibility, employment, housing, military service, relevant benefits and more, check out:

The People with Disabilities Portal



We offer these resources, along with hundreds of pages of other Israeli healthcare-related content for free to Israel’s English-speaking population.

Click here to donate now and please consider an on-going donation as everyone contributing their little part helps us do ours!

You can also help by:

  1. Spreading the word: Tell anyone and everyone you know who might be helped by our site and resources about us and what we have to offer.
  2. Collaborating with us by sharing your own knowledge, thoughts and experiences simply by leaving comments on our site and Facebook page (or simply “Liking” it) or, for the truly adventurous, in the form of a blog post (email us for more info: info@shirapranskyproject.org).


Not familiar with SPP?

AACI’s Shira Pransky Project (SPP) was founded to help English speakers in Israel better navigate the Israeli healthcare system and make use of the rights and services that are out there.

What we do:


To your health ! לבריאות

Camps for Children with Special Needs (Summer 2014/5774)

The following is a listing of some camps and nofshonim (short-stay camps and respite facilities) for children with special needs for Summer 2014 and beyond. Each program has it own target population (i.e. children with visual impairment, children with autism, etc.) and should be contacted directly for more details including price (if applicable), exact location, etc.

happy kids


Zichron Menachem trip to Holland for children with cancer

The campers will spend the first two days of camp in Israel for group bonding activities and will then fly as a group (about 220 people), which will visit various tourist sites, parks, amusement parks and more.

The trip is for young people with cancer ages 6-30 who are currently in treatment.

When? 6-16.7.2014 

The group is accompanied by a team of oncologists , nurses and a pharmacist with a mobile hospital to avoid the need for a hospital visit, as well as psychologists, photographers, security guards and an experienced staff of guides.

Registration is through the Zichron Menachem website: http://www.zichron.org

Phone: 02-6433001


ILAN Summer Camps 2014

Every year ILAN operates summer camps for children and youth ages 7-21 with physical disabilities enrolled in regular education and special education schools.

There is also a summer camp for adults ages 21-30.

The camps take place on kibbutzim, moshavim and in communities across the country. All campers go to a 5-day sleepover camp and each camper has a personal volunteer from the host kibbutz/community.

The camps have a variety of workshops and special activities geared for ILAN campers that are challenging and fun.

When? July and August

How do I register? Fill out the required forms that can be downloaded from ILAN: http://www.ilan-israel.co.il and send with your payment to ILAN via fax: 03-5249828, email: kaitanot@ilan-israel.co.il or mail: Y.L. Gordon St. 9, Tel Aviv  63458.

Following receipt of the forms, details about the date and location of the camp will be sent to the family.

For more information, contact the 2014 national camp coordinators: Meirav – 050-7672728, Michal – 052-3084178


Camp Shutaf

Ages 6-12 – A diverse program that includes art, drama, sports, self-defense, cooking, hip-hop dancing, a day trip and pool day once a week.

Ages 13-21 – Meet at camp in the morning and go for outside activities that can include self-defense, volunteering at a soup kitchen, meeting with the local community, visiting businesses in the area to identify potential job opportunities, pool day.

When? 3-21.08.14, Sunday – Thursday 8:45 – 14:00

Staff: Each group of 12 children or adolescents have a team leader, 3 adult counselors and 2 CITs

For more information and discount requests: Marci – 052-6948904, Email: marci@campshutaf.org

Shutaf website: http://www.campshutaf.org


The Young Trainer Dog Training Camp (The Dogs for People Organization)

Where? Moshav Beit Ezra (near Ashdod)

Who? High-functioning children with special needs

What? Dog care and training

When? 1.7.14-21.7.14 (it is also possible to sign up for only some days of camp)

Contact: Asia -052-2888147, asia.dfp@gmail.com


ELIYA – Association for Blind and Visually Impaired Children 

Family Vacation

Vacation for families with a blind or visually impaired child ages 4-15.

When? 11-13.08.14

Location: Kfar Tavor Field School

A bus leaving from Gan Eliya in Petach Tikva will be available for participating families.

For more information and registration: Iris Yunas – 03-9336840 ext. 108 / 055-6680055 or Nora – 052-6988679


Summer Camp

The camp is designed for blind and visually impaired children ages 6-14 and includes fun and challenging activities.

When?: 1-21.07.14 08:00-14:30, except Fridays

Where?: City Park, Levon St., Petach Tikva

Transportation is the responsibility of the parents (through the municipal transportation departments). ELIYA will send more information to anyone who is interested.

For more information and registration: Iris Yunas – 03-9336840 ext. 108 / 055-6680055 or Nora – 052-6988679


Big Idea Summer Camp

An international technology summer camp held in Israel for high-functioning children with autism or Asperger’s syndrome ages 7-18.

For more information about the program: 03-5285177, https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bw208jJFRT78aU00S0NlMXY3MVE/edit?usp=sharing


Community center camps

Community center camps are open to children with special needs, who will be integrated into appropriate groups by the camp coordinators.  The number of spots is limited, and you should contact your local community center for more information.


MARSHAL Tel Aviv Camp

When? During July-August

Where? MARSHAL Tel Aviv, Mendele Mocher Sforim St. 20, Tel Aviv

Who? Blind and visually impaired children from first grade and up, and their siblings

What’s included? Trips, various activities, a light meal and transportation

For more information and registration: 03-7248040


Fairytale Summer Camp at the Variety Center in Jerusalem

Who? Children with special needs in grades 1-5

Where? Variety Center in Jerusalem, Diskin St. 17

When? 1-24.07.14, Sunday – Thursday from 8:30 to 13:30

What? The camp combines various experiential activities from different fields of creativity, movement, music and drama along with various outdoor activities such as swimming, visiting the zoo, challenging sports activities and more…

For more information contact: Chen, camp coordinator: 02-5391928 or the Variety Center front desk: 02-5391911


Camp Akim Beer Sheva

When? 24-29/8/2014

Where? Youth hostel in Arad

Who? Children ages 8-21 with intellectual developmental disabilities

What? The camp features a host of various social and sports activities, air-conditioned rooms, pool time, other challenging activities, and more …

For more information: Tel: 08-6231190, Mobile: 052-6056215


Shema Tel Aviv Camp

When? 1-21.7.14, Sunday – Thursday 8:00 – 13:00

Where? Shema, Derekh HaShalom 34, Tel Aviv

Who? Deaf and hearing impaired children in 1-6 grades

What? Activities, performances, crafts, trip to an amusement park, pool, visit to Ariel Sharon Park, trip to Stalactites Cave, visit to Meymadion, day with deaf and hearing impaired soldiers,   sports and more. Details will be sent to participants.

Transportation: The price includes transportation from the camper’s home to Shema and back (except for isolated locales).

Each day the children will receive a roll and juice and each camper will receive a camp shirt and hat.

Cost: 1450 NIS

For information and registration, email: Summer.shema@gmail.com or call: 03-5715656


Camp Ken L’Adam

Who? Children with intellectual developmental disabilities, emotional problems, autism and/or rehabilitation needs (in separate groups).

Ages: Preschool, primary through high school (in separate groups)

Where? Moshav Gia 51 , ​​the Krempaf family

What? Activities with animals, gardening, painting and crafts, story time and guided imagery

The duration and character of the workshops will be customized to the campers’ needs and each group of children will have a program built according to its needs and capabilities.

The camp is run by a social worker and a qualified educational consultant and therapuetic drawing classes will be led by a certified instructor. The lawn is accessible for wheelchairs and children who are not independent will be accompanied by a staff member.

Breakfast and lunch will be served.

For more information: 052-2503984


Mikan Vemeala

Camp preparing children with learning disabilities for first grade.

Small group up to eight children, personal attention for each child, carefully selected quality supportive counselors .

The camp will be led and administered by Yasmin Amran, certified in the Rami Katz method, and a special education teacher with extensive experience working with children with learning disabilities.

Contact: Yasmin – 054-4901835, yasminamran@gmail.com


Alei Siach (מחנה נופשון עלי שיח)

Who? Children with various disorders including autism and intellectual developmental disabilities. The site is not accessible for children with physical disabilities, with the exception of babies in folding strollers.

Ages: Boys up to age 9 and girls of all ages.

Dates of camp: August 7-13 August with a volunteer for every child.

Where? Beer Yaakov Campus

Phone: Shlomit  – 02-5477908 (morning hours only)


Camp Or Menachem

When? August

Where? Yeshurun ​​School , Zelig Bass St. 17 , Petach Tikva 

Who? Children with cancer and their siblings

Parents interested in participating are invited to join the staff.

For information and registration: 052-8337890, http://www.or-menachem.com


Jezreel Valley Regional Council Camp for Children and Youth with Special Needs 

When? August

Where? Jezreel Valley communities, for Jezreel Valley residents only.

What? Challenging activities, nature walks, experiential activities, transportation, breakfast and lunch.

To register: Dikla – 050-4318032, email the child’s name, teudat zehut number, age, parent’s name, hometown, telephone and email address to diklary@gmail.com


Dog Training Camp for Children with Special Needs

When? 06.07.14-27.08.14 from Sunday – Thursday, 8:00 to 12:00

Where? Lapid (7 minutes drive from Modi’in)

What? Experiential learning about dogs, including learning about training dogs and interacting with them.

For details: 052-8341756, Email: orophir123@gmail.com


Camp Open Space – Riding with Dr. Ofer Komorovsky

When? Throughout the month of July in two week sessions, 8:00 to 16:00

Where? Hatirosh 13, Kfar Shmuel, (you can enter “חוות המרחב הפתוח” in Waze)

Who? Children from age 5 through adolescence with special needs. The camp specializes in those on the autistic spectrum. The camps has children without special needs who accompany the participants throughout the day and help them interact with their environment and with the other campers.

What? Campers go horseback riding accompanied by the professional, experienced therapeutic staff, enjoying the experience (on horseback or in a carriage), as well as time and space to choose what they want to do while accompanied by a personal counselor. They also participate in various workshops such as baking bread on a tabun, drum circles, art workshops, and more.

For details: Tel: 08-9211506, 054-4392252, Fax: 077-6150277, Email: info@open-space.co.il


Krembo Wings

Krembo Wings is the only youth movement in Israel for children and young adults with special needs, providing weekly social activities for young people with any type of motor, cognitive or sensory disability and their able-bodied peers.

Each year Krembo Wings offers participants, their parents and the volunteer youth counselors the chance to take part in an enjoyable three-day summer camp vacation at Beit Kay in Nahariya, designed for both children and adults alike. The goal of the camp is to provide a fun and relaxing vacation for children with special needs and their families. During the three-day summer camp, two able-bodied youth counselors accompany each child with special needs throughout the activities. This gives the parents and siblings the opportunity to enjoy a relaxing vacation of their own.

The camp’s activities are varied and suited to youth and parents alike. The camp’s enrichment activities are run by professional staff and include story-telling; dancing; yoga; swimming-pool activities; a magic show; an arts and crafts room; chocolate-making workshops; theatrical performances and outdoor training activities (such as horseback riding and zip-lining). All the activities are specially designed to be available to all of our participants, even those in wheelchairs.

For more information about Krembo Wings activities and branches across the country: www.krembo.org.il or call 09-8852385 (office) or 054-6720700 (Avner)


Savion in Jerusalem (נופשון סביון – עמותת שיח סוד בירושלים)

Who? Children with autism and intellectual developmental disabilities.

Ages: 5 years old and up.

Phone: 02-6405024


Yafia (נופשון יפיע בצפון)

Throughout the year.

Who? Children with intellectual developmental disabilities at all levels of functioning.

All ages.

Phone: 04-6551014 , 050-2188498 (Louis)

Reinforcement activities  and activities adapted for summer.


Magical Moments Motel (מלונית רגעים קסומים)

The facility operates at the Dead Sea throughout the year.

Who? Children and adults with cystic fibrosis and psoriasis.

The facility is appropriate for all ages.

The nofshon is designed for children and their families.

Phone: 03-6780303


Beit Tamar in Jerusalem (בית תמר בירושלים)

 The nofshon operates throughout the year.

Who? Children with physical and intellectual disabilities.

Ages: 8-21

Accommodation only, no activities. Children must be accompanied by a chaperon.

Phone: 02-6448601


Ezer Mizion’s Relief Project (פרויקט הקלה – עזר מציון)

Who? Children with autism and intellectual developmental disabilities.

Ages: 3- 21

The nofshon takes place with host families.

Host families can be requested by the child’s parents and may be neighbors, friends, or an aide/teacher from the child’s educational institution.

Host families must be approved by an Ezer Mizion/Ministry of Social Affairs social worker.

Ezer Mizion has a database of host families around the country that can be used if the child’s parents do not have one they would like to request.

Phone: 03-6144456, 03-6144457 or 03-6144433

Email: shavim@ami.org.il


Agam (נופשון אגם)

Operates one weekend per month in the Agam School, Raanana.

Who? Children with intermediate to severe intellectual developmental disabilities.

Ages: 7 -21

Phone: 09-7481063


Gan Hayeled in Haifa (גן הילד בחיפה)

Nofshon on weekends

Who? Children of all ages with special needs who are officially recognized by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services’ Department of Services for People with Intellectual Developmental Disabilities (שירות לאדם המפגר) or the National Unit for People with Autism (היחידה הארצית לאוטיסטים).

Ages: 4 years old and up.

Phone: 04-8377139 .


Beit David

Who? Nofshon in Mevasseret Zion for women and adolescent girls with intellectual developmental disabilities.

The nofshon operates throughout the year and during school breaks and holidays.

Participants  are integrated into all of the residence’s regular activities including employment, leisure and recreation programs.

Contact: Chaya Levy (director of the residence) or Debbie: 02-5341127

Fax: 02-5795846

Email: info@bdi.org.il


Tsad Kadima’s Educational-Rehabilitation Summer Camp

When? 10-14/8/14

Where? Kibbutz Hanaton (Lower Galilee)

The camp is run by a professional staff. It has a an active schedule with continuous and intensive activities according to its guiding educational principles. The first half of the day will be devoted to programs aimed at promoting the children’s motor abilities, and the second half of the day will include activities that are social and experiential in nature.

Objectives of the camp:

  • Developing of independence and promoting functional skills
  • Providing active recreational and social experiences
  • Experiencing a new environment outside the home

The camp is designed for people aged 15-25 with cerebral palsy or other motor impairments

For registration, please contact Karen Calderon: 052-8827892


Shalva Nofshon in Jerusalem

Shalva operates a nofshon in Jerusalem for children with intellectual development disabilities who function at different levels.

Ages: 6-21

The nofshon operates throughout the year.

Telephone: 02-6519555, 02-6275077


AMICHAI Nofshonim

Children and adolescents officially recognized by one of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services divisions (Department of Services for People with Intellectual Developmental Disabilities (שירות לאדם המפגר), the Unit for People with Autism (היחידה לטיפול באוטיזם) or the Rehabilitation Division (אגף השיקום)) are entitled to 15 nights a year away from home, which are referred to by the Ministry as respites days (ימי נופשון).

Every weekend, there is a nofshon at the Hod Hasharon Recreation Center. Transportation is not provided as part of the nofshon and the families are responsible for transporting the children to and from the center. The children are divided into groups that meet one weekend a month/once every two months. Participants cannot come one time, and must commit to the entire year. Groups are divided by age and level of functioning. Children with lower functioning levels have a staff member for every two children. Activities include cooking meals together and a wide variety of leisure activities.

Email: Hila – hilagl@amichai.org.il

Website: http://www.amichai.org.il

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AmichaiNPO


Shtilim in Jerusalem (נופשון שתילים בירושלים)

Who? For children with autism and PDD.

Ages: 3 years old and up.

Kosher meals and a volunteer for every child.

Contact: Chani – 052-7166343


This listing was translated from information provided by Kesher. The original Hebrew listings on the Kesher website can be found here and here.

For more information for children with special needs and their families, see our Guide for Children with Special Needs.


If this information was helpful to you, please enable us to help others by supporting the project:

Children with Special Needs – Rights, Benefits and Services

In addition to the inherent difficulties of parenting, parents of children with special needs find themselves confronted with many financial, social and bureaucratic hardships when trying to get the best available support and services for their children. These hardships are simply compounded for immigrants and those who do not speak Hebrew as a first language. The information on this page is primarily relevant for children with sensory, developmental, cognitive or motor disorders and their families.

Know to Ask

Review the various rights, benefits and services highlighted in this checklist to become more knowledgeable about what is available before making an appointment with the Kupat Cholim social worker at your local branch, a social worker from an aid organization, or another guidance professional for information and assistance in accessing support. Download a printable version of this checklist by clicking here. You can print out that checklist and go over it with the support professional. Please note that many items have eligibility conditions related to age, means, insurance membership or other factors.

Discounts, Exemptions and Assistance from the Health Plans


Financial Assistance and Other Benefits


Supportive and Nursing Care

Patient Support Organizations

This is not an exclusive list, check out the “Children” section of our organizations directory for more organizations. If you have a need for a service you do not see here, we urge you to make your need known. If it is not already addressed by an existing program, many organizations will use their resources to facilitate your individual needs in any way possible.

General Services

Counseling, Support and Rehabilitation

Recreation and Respite

Specialized Organizations

More Organizations

Where to Turn

Here are your primary avenues for receiving helpful information. Remember to be persistent in seeking clear and comprehensive details about assistance and the means to access it. There are multiple sources for guidance and often you need to pursue more than one.

  • Kupat Cholim Social Workers: Every health fund employs a social work staff with hours available to address any of your needs. Speak to your branch secretary about office hours or to arrange an appointment. The Child Development Services branches also offer assistance from social workers.
  • Organization Social Workers and Other Assistance Professionals: Many patient support organizations offer guidance to the community they serve through social workers or counselors providing specialized information and assistance.
  • School Social Workers and Other Assistance Professionals: Many schools with special needs programs offer guidance to their parents through social workers or counselors providing specialized information and assistance.

What Assistance Can You Expect?

  • Information about rights and services that relate specifically to a person’s circumstances, and practical guidance on acquiring them.
  • Practical insight, and some hand holding, on navigating the system, whether it be within the healthcare system, in government bureaucracy or the education system.
  • Help finding and connecting with organizations dedicated to particular conditions, where there may be even more resources of specific interest to you.
  • Help with emotional coping in difficult situations.

A Few Tips:

  • Schedule a sit-down meeting with enough time blocked out to discuss what you need.
  • Delegate tasks to accomplish your goals. Note the things you need to do (e.g. call this office, obtain these documents, etc.) and the things the social worker is committing to doing (e.g. calling that office, finding out about that service, getting those forms, etc.).
  • Schedule the next contact. e.g. The social worker will call you in two days with some follow-up information, or you will meet again in a week to fill out forms together, etc.
  • Show your appreciation. Everyone in the healthcare sector chose to go into a profession dedicated to helping others. The social workers especially, did not do it for the glamour.

The information appearing here, along with some more resources, also appears in the Children with Special Needs Portal and the Special Education and Integration into Regular Education Portal we translated as part of our collaboration with the Kol-Zchut organization. Comprehensive information for parents of children with special needs can also be found in the Kesher Organization’s Ksharim Booklet.

Remember that a printable, slightly modified PDF version of this checklist may be found here.


If this checklist helped you or a loved one, please consider supporting AACI’s Shira Pransky Project by visiting:

New Virtual Community for English Speaking Families of Children with Special Needs

The Shira Pransky Project is happy to pass along the following announcement from Kesher– The Home for Special Families:

Kesher-The Home for Special Families

In honor of the New Year, Kesher– The Home for Special Families, is thrilled to announce the establishment of an innovative Virtual Community for English speaking families of children with special needs!

Kesher is a leading organization inIsrael that works to create informed, empowered, and motivated families of children with special needs. We strive towards significant social change through advocacy, developmen

Our new Virtual Community, based off of a highly successful pre-existing model for Hebrew speakers, will offer English speaking families the opportunity to serve as participatory members of a large and diverse community of special families in Israel, comprised of Hebrew, Arabic, and Russian speaking members.t, and social service programs.

Virtual Community participants are offered:

  • Regular email updates concerning, benefits, legislation, new services, conferences, lectures and more.
  • The opportunity to participate in all other Kesher activities including:
    • Lectures and Workshops for Families
    • Training for Parents and Professionals
    • Information and guidance from our Information Center: 1-700-501-601 (makom-m.cet.co.il)
    • Access to our ‘Connecting Parents’ Portal (www.horimbekesher.co.il).

Together, we will not stand alone.

Together, we will work to realize equal rights.

Together, we will strengthen and support each other.

And together, we will constitute an empowered part of Israeli society.

Kesher invites you to join in our family, and ask that you forward this information to all relevant families and professionals.

For more information, or to join our Resource Center please contact us:

 Alana Ebin, Anglo Communities Coordinator


Telephone: 02-6236116

Fax: 02-6246390