About Us

Beit Uri – For every person there is a place.
 

‘Beit Uri’ is a home for about 120 Jewish and Arab children, youngsters and adults between the ages six and 55 who are in need of special care. Apart from functional and mental retardation, Beit Uri’s population suffer from multiple handicaps including autism, CP, Down Syndrome, hyperactivity, hearing and visual impairments and behavioural disorders. Designed as a small village, with gardens around 6 residential buildings, the home is surrounded by a beautiful forest used daily for therapeutic activities.

The essence of Beit Uri’s philosophy finds its roots in the Anthroposophic writings of Rudolf Steiner. Each human should be TReated as a healthy individual whose own personality will emerge through the ‘curtain’ of his or her handicaps given a warm, caring environment.

History
 

Founder of the home, Devorah Shick - a Prague-born, Holocaust survivor - bore the despair, pain and love that parents of handicapped children experience as a mother of her own retarded child. Following her son’s death, Devorah devoted her life to studying therapeutic pedagogy in anthroposophic institutes throughout Europe. In 1969 she opened Beit Uri, a private remedial home for the severely retarded - in the memory of her son Uri. Today, Beit Uri is a public, non-profit association, run by a Board of Trustees and funded primarily by the Israeli MinisTRies of Welfare and Education. Devorah was the recipient of the Prime Minister’s Award for Protector of Children’s Rights, 1999, for her lifetime’s commitment to building a home for the special needs community. The home's residents also received the 2001 Minister of Environment Award for outstanding work in caring for the surrounding park and forest.

Following her death in November 2002 at the age of 94, Devorah was posthumously awarded the Zusman-JDC prize for excellence in services for the handicapped, by the President of the State of Israel.

 

In June 2009 Beit Uri received the Council for a Beautiful Israel Prize awarded to the residents by President Shimon Peres. The home was chosen unanimously by a panel of 12 judges to receive the council's prize for environmental activity and awareness. "Beit Uri is the embodiment of everything that is beautiful about Israel," said Avraham Katz-Oz, chairman of the Council.

Education
 

The school programme runs six days a week and serves residents up to the age of twenty one. There are five classes with approximately six pupils per classroom. The educational programme is based on an intensive exposure to art forms – music, art and movement, to foster the harmonious development of the whole human being.The school is also open to external pupils from the local community.

          

Rehabilitation
 

In the anthroposophic spirit, everyone is a partner in the creative process, making his own conTRibution, be it in the laundry folding clothes; in the vegetable garden growing food for the kitchen or meeting the demands of the outside community for quality, hand-made products using natural materials.
 

The goal is to employ the older population in full-time jobs and a number of residents have in fact found job placements in Afula. (see ‘Going Out to Work’). Most do not leave the premises and they are offered a nurturing environment in the busy daily workshops. Working from the raw material stage to the final product, residents derive a great sense of purpose and achievement in producing quality baskets, ceramic pieces, woven tableware, wooden items, candles, jams and pickles.Through their creative and professional handiwork and daily conTRibution to the running of the home, these remarkable individuals are able to give something back to the society that cares for them.(see: Beit Uri cottage indusTRies)