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Impressions of the play Simple Dreams at the training seminar of the Noam Zionist youth movement and at the Conservative Movement’s Adraba Center for Children with Disabilities    

 Ronen Ben-Avraham, director of the Adraba Center of the Conservative Movement (known in Israel as the Masorti Movement), says:
“The Neta’im program for the integration of children and youth with disabilities into the [Conservative Movement’s] Noam Zionist youth movement, is about Children and teenagers with IDD are integrated into several branches of Noam, such as Hod Hasharon, Kfar Sava-Raanana, Nahariya-Shorashim, Be’er Sheva-Omer, Haifa and Carmiel.
Some 300 people — counselors, branch coordinators and volunteers in Noam’s pre-military year of volunteer service — attended the Masorti Movement’s Hanukkah seminar for participants in Noam’s counselor training program. The third day of the seminar was devoted to learning about the integration of children and youth with IDD into mainstream environments.
A special activity was held on that day to increase awareness of the world of people with IDD. It focused on such questions as “What is normal?” “How do we define the term ‘disability’?” and “Are people with IDD left out of mainstream environments?”
Later that day, all of the seminar’s participants saw the play Simple Dreams, which was performed by the AKIM Valley Theater Group and directed by Ido Weiss. The members of the audience laughed, cried, experienced excitement and joy and rejoiced together with the actors.
After the performance, the cast stayed for a discussion, prayer services, the lighting of Hanukkah candles and supper with the leadership trainees who were attending the seminar.
The counselors will remember the meaning, message and insights of this play for the rest of this year’s educational activities and, we hope, for the rest of their lives.
“Let me conclude here with a passage" said Ronen Ben-Avraham, " from ‘A prayer to be recited after prayer’ by Rabbi Elimelech of Lizhansk: ‘All the more so, let our hearts see in others their positive qualities, not their deficiencies.’”

The Shalem Foundation assisted in funding the production of the play "Simple dream".