Special-needs volunteers cheer up patients at Rambam Hospital in Haifa ahead of Purim holiday. (Tzohar Helav/TPS) (Tzohar Helav/TPS)
special needs purim at hospital

A participant in this unique event said he “knows it’s a very important thing to make sick people happy.”

By Aryeh Savir, TPS

Special-needs men and women from the Tzohar Halev housing network arrived at the oncology department of Rambam Medical Center in Haifa on Sunday to bring the joy of Purim to the patients.

The young adults prepared Mishloah Manot – gifts of food or drink sent to friends on Purim day – and arrived at the hospital, singing to the patients and celebrating with them.

This initiative was started eight years ago by a Tzohar Halev social worker who had recovered from cancer.

“It was a very exciting event for the patients and our residents,” said Yisrael Kornick, CEO of Tzohar Halev. “The meaning for people with special needs to make other people happy is great and empowering, when they get to be the giver and therapist this time.”

Nissim, who has participated in this unique event, told TPS that he “knows it’s a very important thing to make sick people happy.”

Yosef Yitzchak shared that he “loves to make people happy. I play the drums at friends’ birthdays and I am always happy to help people who need it, in hospitals too. I love to send Mishloah Manot.”

Tzohar Halev is a non-profit organization that operates a network of special education institutions, rehabilitative work centers and housing facilities in Israel for some 1,300 special needs children.

The organization aims to give special needs children and adults a sense of self-worth and independence.