We welcome the class of 2019 to Shibolink, the leadership project that led last year’s campaign for the IDF to let individuals with disabilities serve with meaning and met with the commander of the IDF Human Resources Directorate to pursue that objective. The project is a collaboration between Shibolim, a program of the Joint Council of Mechinot (Pre-Military Leadership Academies), and Link 20, an initiative of the Ruderman Family Foundation. Its goal is to increase awareness of the mainstreaming of individuals with disabilities in all parts of society, using digital campaigns and position papers disseminated to decision-makers. This year, the students decided to spark public discussion of accessibility modification of hiking trails.
Their first meeting, held on Sunday, was attended by 16 students from mechinot throughout Israel, and the students chose the subject. They split up into thinking groups, studied the issue, attempted to identify the root of the problem, and thought about how to produce change. “As mechina students who love Israel and want to deepen every person’s connection to it, we understood that lots of hiking trails aren’t accessible to individuals with disabilities—there are virtually no accessibility-modified hiking trails in the country, and the equipment is expensive,” explained Yuval Sela, a student at the Meitzar Academy for Leadership and Social Responsibility who participated in the meeting. “We left the first meeting today raring to go, with lots of energy for the coming meetings and all the work we have in store for us.”
The project is supervised by Gaston Druguer, a journalist at the Kann Broadcasting Corporation, and Adi Sabah, a social work student with Shibolim. Good luck!