To mark Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month: JDC-MALBEN Programs in Israel, 1950s-1960s

Following the establishment of the State of Israel, the needs of the massive numbers of new immigrants overwhelmed the fledgling Jewish State. The government of Israel invited JDC to join forces with it to confront these challenges. The outcome was MALBEN—a Hebrew acronym for Organization for the Care of Handicapped Immigrants.  MALBEN established a network of institutions for elderly and disabled new immigrants, including homes for the aged, hospitals, TB sanitariums, sheltered workshops, and rehabilitation centers. MALBEN also funded the training of nurses and rehabilitation workers. In 1951, JDC assumed the entire obligation for MALBEN, an arrangement that remained in place until 1975, when JDC transferred its MALBEN facilities to the government of Israel.

Witness the work of JDC-MALBEN by viewing photographs of those who benefitted from the life-changing assistance.

Watch excerpts from the film "Forsake Me Not (1958)," in which elderly residents of the newly constructed MALBEN community of Neve Avot gather to watch the destruction of the last home in Pardes Hanna, where they had previously lived in temporary housing.

All photos presented in this gallery are from the digitized online collection of the JDC Archives. They focus on communities that have received JDC support and assistance. Additional photos on this topic may be found on the JDC Archives website and by searching its online database.



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