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June, 2018

ILAN exhibits for the first time paintings at UN headquarters in New York!

ILAN artists are “Honorary Ambassadors” at UN Headquarters!

On Tuesday, June 12, 2018, a first-ever exhibit of paintings by ILAN artists opened at UN Headquarters in New York. In the exhibit, titled “Shades of Color,” were displayed some 20 works by ILAN children and adult artists attending the organization’s day centers in Tel Aviv, Be’er Sheva,Beit Kesler in Kiryat Haim, and ILAN-supported special education schools. The goal was to raise awareness of the integration of people with disabilities in society while expressing special appreciation to the talented artists.

We at ILAN believe that art is one of the most powerful means available to these children for self-expression. Throught art, many of them discover their extraordinary abilities and talent. Beyond that, thanks to art, they can feel that they are “equals among equals.”

ILAN and Israel were represented at the United Nations by Mr. Ehud Rassabi, the organization’s chairman; Mr. Boaz Herman, its director general; and Brig. Gen. (res.) Alon Dumanis, who spoke about the activities, carried out daily in order to empower ILAN’s clients in all areas of life, providing them with the tools necessary to lead meaningful lives.

Brig. Gen. Dumanis related his personal story. He contracted polio as an infant and grew up in ILAN – and told of his awe-inspiring achievements during his lifetime.

The event was attended by Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Mr. Danny Danon, who spoke at the exhibit opening; representatives of organizations throughout the world involved in the rehabilitation of people with disabilities; diplomats; and UN staff members.

 

ILAN artists talk about the works they exhibited

Fifteen-year-old Idan Zessler of Karmiel was born with a connective tissue disease and is paralyzed in his lower body. Though this means he must use a wheelchair for mobility, his disability does not prevent him from taking part in his favorite hobbies –  singing, swimming, and most importantly, painting. Idan has a disabled brother and a non-disabled sister. He is a student at the Tefen School in Kfar Vradim, which is supported by ILAN. His painting “My Colorful Parts” was exhibited at the United Nations. “I painted the picture after listening to Gotye’s song “Somebody that I Used to Know.” The song made me think about humans being made up of parts, parts of thoughts and behaviors. I painted myself the way I would like everyone to see me. A young man made up of parts, but who is actually whole. Like everyone else,” says Idan.

Orel Nigarker, 24, of Dimona, who attends ILAN’s day center in Be’er Sheva, says that her great love is drawing and that her disability does not prevent her from practicing it. Orel, who was born with cerebral palsy, is dependent on a wheelchair for mobility. She has a twin sister who is not disabled with whom she enjoys an especially close relationship. Her dream is to study art in college. She called her work at the UN “Sunflowers,” and says that the painting and the sunflowers symbolize freedom, independence, and growth.

 

ILAN presents a unique and holistic model for the treatment and rehabilitation of people with disabilities, including at the international level. The exhibit demonstrates the organization’s concept of empowering people with special needs, their ability for self-expression, and living up to their potential.

Disability and Ability at the UN (Jewish press.com, 20.6.18)