When Mrs. Etta Israel passed away in 1990 she was the same age as the century. The former teacher’s final wish was that her modest estate be used to create a center to serve families with special needs.
Today, the Etta Israel Center, established in 1993, offers physically challenged and developmentally disabled teens and adults services ranging from education to camp to housing.
Last weekend, volunteers from the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles joined Netiya, SOVA and Food Forward to harvest fruit from the trees and plant flowers, herbs and vegetables at three Etta Israel homes in North Hollywood along with Etta residents.
I visited all three sites to spend a beautiful day with people picking, planting and watering, volunteers and clients working side by side. Watch the video to meet the happy gardeners.
Sunday’s day of service was the start of the Federation’s Super Week, seven days of fundraising and community service. This year the Federation also designated February as Inclusion Awareness Month, “part of a national effort to inform and raise awareness about members of the Jewish community with a disability.”
You can visit the webpage to learn more and sign the inclusion pledge. For every pledge signed, the Federation will donate a dollar to fund inclusion activities. Check the link for activities scheduled throughout the rest of February.