Living in a Rural Community
Beit Elisha is located in the heart of Kibbutz Harduf. Community members are an integral part of the kibbutz and play an active role in the work life and social and cultural activities of the kibbutz. The integration of Beit Elisha members in the wider kibbutz community, based on a “community within a community” approach, creates a reciprocity that contributes extensively to both sides. Beit Elisha members experience a rich life of social activities despite their limitations, allowing them to develop and enjoy a sense of self-worth and belonging. At the same time, kibbutz residents’ direct involvement with Beit Elisha members allows them to experience tolerance, giving, and growth, while developing skills for creatively coping with ever-changing challenges and conditions.
Most of the members of the Beit Elisha community live in group homes on the kibbutz. Eight to ten people live in each house in multi-generational groups of men and women, with one or two people per room. Each house has a dedicated professional therapeutic team that supervises and assists the house residents as much as required. Some of the Beit Elisha members live independently in private housing throughout the kibbutz, and they too enjoy professional assistance and supervision.
An additional group of Beit Elisha members who were interested in a more urban lifestyle live in two rented apartments in nearby Kiryat Tivon. Each house is populated by a multi-generational group of men and women. The Kiryat Tivon group is served by regular transportation service that brings them to work every morning in Harduf, and takes them home after lunch.
Another group of community members also comes to the kibbutz every morning for their therapeutic employment. These non-residential members of Beit Elisha also receive the assistance and support of the staff.
The community integration model is also implemented in the branch of Beit Elisha located on Kibbutz Merav, the House on the Gilboa.