Lior and Lotem are both 30. They’re married, and they work jobs that make them happy. He’s an employee at a local pharmacy, stocking shelves and tagging items, and she’s in charge of marketing for a family programming business. They both also have cognitive disabilities. Lior and Lotem live together with the assistance of Supported Housing, an innovative JDC initiative that helps guide Israelis with disabilities through everything involved in living independently — finding an apartment, packing and moving, securing disability benefits from the local municipality, and more. It is a signature initiative of Israel Unlimited, a partnership between JDC, the Israeli government, the Ruderman Family Foundation, and other partners to develop new services and programs for people with disabilities in Israel. JDC believes people with disabilities may need more help than those without them, but with appropriate support, everyone has the potential to reach independence and blaze their own path in life.
Nerya, 22, left home in his late teens, living on the streets and then in a state institution. When he was in the army as a "lone soldier," an IDF coordinator referred him to Digital Talent, an innovative JDC employment program in partnership with Google and the Government of Israel. Now, Nerya has completely transformed his life, working a high-powered marketing job and serving as a mentor for other young Israelis. Learn how JDC is helping leverage the energy of "Start-up Nation" to change the story for the most vulnerable Israelis.