Nov 15, 2021  By Melissa Segal  Category: Special Needs,

Their Sense of Purpose Gave Me Purpose

On our trip to Israel with the Jewish National Fund-USA President Mission, we were taken to the many projects JNF-USA supports. While I enjoyed seeing all of the different sites and affiliates, I was truly moved by ADI Negev-Nahalat Eran.

ADI Negev is a world class residential community located in the heart of the Negev. Patients there are not seen as disabled or different -- they are seen as individuals with beautiful souls. They are humans who want to make friends, learn new things, and have a sense of purpose. And most importantly, they are treated with respect and compassion.

ADI Negev is a community that has a hospital, and an outpatient rehabilitation facility that includes a hydrotherapy pool, horseback riding facilities, a petting zoo, an integrated kindergarten, and individual residences. 

What struck me first upon entering the village was the staff. Each and every staff member welcomed the visitors with warm smiles and open arms. They cared for the patients with the same level of respect, kindness, and love.

As we walked through the village, I felt a sense of warmth run up my spine. I started to cry, not out of sadness for the patients, but out of relief that here is a place where those with special needs can feel "regular" and have a true sense of purpose. The residents are all given different tasks or jobs and I could feel their joy as they described what they were doing.

My emotions overcame me as we continued to walk through the village. When we walked to the petting zoo and a few young residents were feeding the animals, my tears became uncontrollable. I remember saying "Why can't we have a place like this in the United States?" I have a niece with special needs and I know how much work it takes to get her the care she needs to stay healthy, both emotionally and physically.

Here at ADI Negev, all of those needs are met. Residents of all ages are given a sense of community and the family members of the residents know that they are safe and well taken care of. This place is truly special. It invokes an emotion which is indescribable.  You feel joy, sadness and pride all in one full swoop.

And I came back home with a whole new sense of purpose and joy. Because I knew what I had supported and will continue to support will keep this community feeling a sense of pride and purpose. It's a beautiful thing.