Before we left for Israel, our friend Philip, who has cerebral palsy (CP) asked me to pay attention to the medical research that is being done here and to let him know if Israel makes any breakthroughs in treating CP. Why would he ask this? Well, in addition to being one of the world leaders in high tech development, Israel is also among the world leaders in medical research, especially when it comes to stem cell research. While I don’t have any news regarding medical developments in treating CP, I am happy to tell you about an Israeli organization that I recently learned about called Tsad Kadima (which translates as A Step Forward).
Tsad Kadima’s focus is on using conductive education to help children, adolescents and young adults with motor dysfunctions, especially those with cerebral palsy, to function in regular society. If you’re like me and haven’t heard about conductive education, let me give you a synopsis. The general idea behind conductive education takes is what they call a holistic approach that combines special education and physical therapy. Moreover, it seeks to treat each child personally, developing the program to fit their specific needs on both a physical and a psychological level. The ultimate goal of any such program is that the child will become maximally independent with minimal artificial aids. For more information about conductive education I suggest you see the description here.
So why am I telling you about this now? Well, in another parallel between our lives in the US and in Israel, just like I first became aware of CP from Philip who we met through Beth David Synagogue, I learned about Tsad Kadima and their efforts through a friend, Marc, from Yedidya (our synagogue in Jerusalem) whose daughter has CP. Not only did Marc tell me about Tsad Kadima, but he also told me about a way I could help and do something I thoroughly enjoy at the same time. He suggested that I participate in Tsad Kadima’s Hike for Hope 2014. This is a two day hike in the Arava region of Israel, a little north of Eilat on March 5 and 6. The aim for the hike is to raise funds and awareness for Tsad Kadima by having participants get sponsors for their efforts. Thus inspired by our two friends, one from the US and the other from Israel, I decided to join in the hike. My goal is to raise a minimum of 2000 nis (approximately 575 US dollars), but I’d prefer to aim for 3000 nis (or approximately 860 US dollars). I encourage you dear friends, family and readers to go to the Tsad Kadima website and learn about the great good that they are doing. While you’re there, please take a moment to help in continuing and expanding their successful programs by making a donation. They accept online donations in US dollars, in Canadian dollars, in Euros, in Pounds and in Shekels. When you donate, please indicate that you are sponsoring me.