Sarasota Event to Highlight World-First Initiative Changing Lives of Teens with Disabilities in Israel


SARASOTA, Fla., August 30, 2022 — Often referred to as a truly life-changing experience, Jewish National Fund-USA’s Special in Uniform program integrates young adults with cognitive disabilities into the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and, in turn, into Israeli society. The program focuses on tapping into the unique talents and abilities of each individual participant to help them find a meaningful way to serve within the IDF and find employment in a variety of settings post-army, ranging anywhere from engineers to shopkeepers or dog groomers.


On Wednesday, November 9, 2022, at 7:00 pm, Lt. Col. (Res.) Tiran Attia, the founder of Special in Uniform, will join Jewish National Fund-USA for an inspirational event in partnership with Temple Emanu-El at the synagogue’s Benderson Hall, where he will discuss the success of the only program of its kind in the world. Since the program’s inception, Special in Uniform has incorporated more than 500 disabled soldiers into the IDF, with hundreds more on a waiting list.



“The IDF is known as ‘the people’s army,’ and this army’s ‘secret weapon’ is the squad of elite soldiers that make up Special in Uniform,” said Toby Halpern, President, JNF-USA Sarasota Board of Directors. “At this program’s core is the belief that everyone belongs, no one should be left behind, and every Israeli has the right to reach his or her full potential. Please join us at Temple Emanu-El to hear how this program is changing lives and is made possible with the support of generous philanthropists.”


"The IDF program Special in Uniform is one of the countless examples in which Jewish National Fund-USA has partnered with Israeli institutions to successfully improve the lives of underserved populations. This program in particular sets the bar very high for the rest of the world for integrating and preparing disabled persons to be productive members of society," added Nina Levitt, Temple Emanu El Israel Committee Chair.


There is no cost to attend. To register for the event, visit or contact  Joshua Mellits, Director, Western Florida at or 941.462.1330 x865.



Media Contact:

Jennifer Milton

561.447.9733 x 875


About Jewish National Fund-USA

JNF-USA is the leading philanthropic organization for Israel that supports critical environmental and nation-building activities in Israel’s north and south. Through its One Billion Dollar Roadmap for the Next Decade, JNF-USA is developing new communities in the Galilee and Negev, connecting the next generation to Israel, and creating infrastructure and programs that support ecology, individuals with special needs, and heritage site preservation.