September 11, 2009

"How Many Deaths are Too Many?"

The Destruction of Jewish Israeli Mentally Handicapped Children by the Israeli Government Services for the Mentally Handicapped

“The evil that men do lives after them”, quoted from the play Julius Caesar by Shakespeare, and so do the evils of various officials of the Israeli services for the Mentally Handicapped. These evils live on in the form of physically and mentally degraded sick adults, who were placed, as children, in Israeli government Homes. Officials come and go, but the evils and cruelty in various homes are continually seen in the form of innocent speechless sick degraded adults who live on or die without and investigations of the cause of death. The 1983 newspaper revelation in the Jerusalem Post, printed below, illustrates the above.

How Many Deaths is Too Many?
By Susan Bellos

One hundred and fifty deaths in 10 years in an institution for the retarded is not an “astounding” figure, the director of services for the retarded in the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, Dr. Meir Hovav, told The Post yesterday.
He was referring to the Beit Tina private institution, whose owners, Shimon and Tina Peled, are under arrest following the recent death of two teenage boys, allegedly from malnutrition.
“You have to look at their life expectancy in the first place,” he said. “Retarded people die young. Why don’t you ask how many people die in Hadassah?
Hovav, who admitted he is not an expert in the field of care of the retarded, has held his present position for six months and learned “on the job.” His training is in general education and sociology, he said.
Regarding the institutions severely criticized in the “unpublished” appendix which was leaked to the press, Hovav said he wanted two closed.

As stated in the article, Dr. Hovav, then head of the Israel Services for Mentally Handicapped, had neither education or experience in the care of the mentally handicapped. The opinions he expressed to the news reporter show that he had no sympathy or compassion for people who are mentally handicapped. His remarks about the deaths of such handicapped are cruel and heartless. That he held his position as head of services is a revealing commentary on the nepotism and politics involved in the appointment of officials in Israel. Dr. Hovav came and went, but destroyed handicapped adults, are still around in various homes in Israel because of attitudes that exist amongst those responsible for the care of mentally handicapped in Israel.
What gives rise to such a cruel, evil situation? Tradition and evil human beings. Ancient traditions persist in our modern times, such as:

  • a defective child is a symbol of the curse of G-d;
  • a handicapped or deformed person is a shame;
  • defective children should be hidden by their families, residences for defectives should be located far from the habitats of normal people;
  • the best thing for defectives is that they should die, and thus remove the problem of caring for them.

Add to these attitudes, that some officials put them into practice, and you can understand why evils and cruelties are still found in some residences for the handicapped in Israel.
An example of this is found in the care of mentally handicapped residents of Building 9 in the Elwyn Residential Center for Jewish Israeli mentally handicapped. Years of suffering from physical and mental abuse have turned residents, who were once children placed in Building 9, into sick, immobile, adults.
In the morning hours, 9:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m., these residents can be found in the small yard where they are placed, sitting with their faces covered with flies. Uncovered garbage bins are located close to the yard. Cats are abundant throughout the residence. They are present everywhere within Building 9, residents are given food previously touched or even tasted by cats. Many other evils and cruelties in the Elwyn Jerusalem home will be described on this blog, in further communications.
It is of importance to publish the names of those responsible for the care of residents in the Elwyn Jerusalem Residential Center for Jewish children located near the Hadassah Ein-Kerem Hospital.
Foremost: Dr. Amir Schwartz, chief social worker of the Israel Services for the Mentally Handicapped, is responsible for the standards of care in homes.
Mr. David Marcu is the manager of the Elwyn Residential Center.
Miss Sarah Sodovnick is the assistant manager. One of the old-time employees of the Israel Services for the Mentally Handicapped, Miss Sodovnick has served in various positions throughout her long career.

Dear reader,
I am acquainting you with the evils and cruelties in Israeli homes for the mentally handicapped. The objective is to arouse public pressure upon those responsible for such care to act to terminate abusive practices and abusive conditions. If you have ideas, if you have suggestions, if you can cite similar instances, communicate with me. We need lawyers and medical doctors to investigate health conditions and bring those responsible for abuses to trial in the courts.
Please help. Write to me.

July 14, 2009

Supplementing Funding For The Care Of The Mentally Handicapped In Israel

This proposal should be considered:



Proposed For Elwyn, Jerusalem, Israel

Objective: To supplement the low level of funding provided by the Israel's Services for the Care of Mentally Handicapped with an independent (additional) source of income.
The supplementary income shall be used to provide better care and services for residents of Elwyn, Jerusalem.
Specifically, if the salary of employees would be increased:
  1. Better qualified caretakers would be willing to work there.
  2. Medical staff would have increased hours and better working conditions. For example, it is impossible for the psychiatrist to a competent professional job when paid for only two (2) hours per week.
  3. Supervisors could work more hours if paid more, to ensure better care.
  4. There can be qualified rehabilitation personnel and rehabilitation activities, instead of the "custodial" caretakers now used as "rehabilitation" staff.
  5. The Rehabilitation Program can be expanded and made more effective, e.g. adding speech therapy, occupation and physical therapy to help the residents with eating, dressing and personal hygiene. There could be singing, dancing and play therapy.

Approach: Construct and operate a "Solar Energy Residence and Rehabilitation Center." The objective is the attract visitors and tourists from Israel and abroad.

Income will be derived from:

  • admission fees to view the solar energy structures and systems Incorporated in the building and to view the exhibit areas
  • a cafeteria on the premises, open to the public, tourists and visitors
  • donations from visitors and tourists

The building will also include additional residential quarters.

Method:Influence both philanthropists and manufacturers of systems and supplies for utilization of solar energy in buildings to finance construction of the residence and Rehabilitation Center.

The building will demonstrate how solar energy can be employed for heating, cooling, supplying electricity and improving the environment.

For example:

An enclosed roof-top swimming pool supplies heating for the living areas and is used in the rehabilitation program summer and winter. Electricity is supplied by a solar cell array. The walls and windows of the building will be designed to absorb and convey solar heat into the residential area. All systems used will be demonstrated as part of the public exhibition.

The cafeteria will not only be a source of income, but it will be part of the rehabilitation program. Residents capable of taking on chores and responsibilities will work there.

In the exhibition area, information about the sponsors will be exhibited, the manufacturers' names, descriptions of their products, systems etc.

It should be noted that today, despite, or maybe because of the international recession, the U.S. and other countries are still investing heavily in alternative energy sources. This is because of the need to reduce dependency on oil and to improve the environment.

The solar energy residence and rehabilitation center would be an attraction that would appeal to both manufacturers and philanthropists and would enable Elwyn to grow and become famous for its outstanding services to the Israeli Mentally Handicapped.

Staff, Resident Quota

According to law there must be one care-giver for every eight seriously retarded residents, even at night. In Elwyn, Jerusalem, for four different wards in different parts of the building there is only one night worker.

Even with all of the medications the residents are given, some are active at night. The one, solitary worker can't control what's happening. The results are violence and injuries.

Bare minimum is to follow legal guidelines. If there is a law requiring one care-giver per eight people, then there should be a hefty fine levied against any institution which doesn't comply. That way they can't claim that it's too expensive, that they don't have the budget.

If anyone knows of other situations, institutions which should have more staff, please let me know in the comments.


July 8, 2009

Goal of this Blog

The goal of this blog is to pressure the Israeli Government to increase funding for the care of the retarded, for the services. The minimum wage attracts weak, unqualified workers for a very difficult job. Salaries must be raised and workers' conditions must improve.

That will be better for the retarded, especially the institutionalized in residential establishments.

For example, in Elwyn, Jerusalem, there is one night shift worker for four wards. Beautiful buildings aren't enough.

Giving the best care and rehabilitation for the severely retarded is a mission, not the job for those barely capable of simple custodial care.

The First Post Will Appear Within The Next Few Days