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Vivienne from Gevaot

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Meet a Pioneer – a series of stories and interviews that allows you to meet the modern pioneers of Biblical Israel. In each episode, we will give you an intimate portrait of a man or woman who is personally fulfilling Biblical prophecy every single day. You will gain a glimpse of their home environment, understand their daily reality, and discover their motivation for settling the Biblical Heartland.

Today, you will meet a woman who struggled to support her special-needs child until she moved to Judea. Vivienne was born and raised in the UK, immigrated as a teen-ager to Israel with her parents and siblings, married, and started building a family in her beloved homeland. But when Vivienne’s sixth child Elhi (Short for Elhanan) was born with special needs, life required many adjustments.

While all parents are concerned for their children’s future, uncertainty looms more heavily for parents of special-needs children. The Glaser family wanted a school that mirrored their environment. After living up north for seventeen years, a country-wide search for the right school for Elhi landed the family in Gush Etzion. Sadna is located in the community of Gevaot, where 50 exceptional families live, choosing “integration” as a way of life. These idealistic pioneers are raising their children in a community where those with disabilities are seen as equals. Today, Elhi 31 years old, lives in an apartment in Gevaot with other young differently-abled men, works at the local cafe, and runs in the annual Jerusalem Marathon. Gevaot is truly a magical place where you can see goodness in this world.

Sadna began with one child and a vision – to provide a loving and caring educational environment for disabled children. Noah Mandelbaum was a kindergarten teacher in Gush Etzion, in Judea. A chance encounter with a Jerusalem family introduced her to their nine-year-old child with Downs Syndrome, as they struggled to find an appropriate school placement for him. Bypassing any formal authorization procedure, Noah invited this child to join her kindergarten class and under her guidance, he blossomed. The idea grew into a school and an adult special-needs program. Sadna in Gevaot has proven to be one of the greatest successes in Israeli special-needs education.

Join Shmuel Junger as he, drops by the village of Gevaot, a community of forty families in the hills of Gush Etzion. The people of Gevaot are truly modern-day pioneers who dedicate their lives to creating a thriving utopian community. Gevaot is a beacon of hope, acceptance, and inspiration, where people of all abilities can live as equals and at the same time strive for a better future and a meaningful existence.

Gevaot, a very special community in Gush Etzion, desperately needs your help to purchase vital surveillance equipment. With its special-needs population, this community is particularly vulnerable to terrorist attack. And they must have ample warning time to shepherd their many dependent residents to safety. Surveillance cameras in Gevaot, more than anywhere else in the area, is a matter of life and death!

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