• Live
  • Open to the public
  • Hebrew

From Charity to Rights: On the Status of People with Disabilities

The Israel Democracy Institute
4 Pinsker Street, Jerusalem

Some 800,000 people with disabilities live in Israel today and are still seen as "other" in Israeli society.

The time has come for a paradigm shift. Rabbis, legal experts, and economists believe that charity and pity alone cannot change our society; Israel must recognize its moral and legal obligation to people with disabilities and ensure that their rights are granted.

On Monday March 23, 2015 IDI and the Ruderman Family Foundation hosted a conference as part of their efforts to put the discourse of rights at the center of public debate and ensure that Israeli society relates to people with disabilities as it would to anyone else: as people with rights.

This Hebrew event was broadcast live on the IDI website and can be viewed on Youtube or below. Real-time transcription was provided in Hebrew.

This event was conducted in partnership with
The Ruderman Family Foundation


3:40–4:00 pm |Arrival

4:00–4:15 pm |Opening Remarks

  • Mrs. Shira Ruderman, Israel Director of the Ruderman Family Foundation
  • Rabbi Dr. Benny Lau, Israel Democracy Institute; Rabbi of the Ramban Synagogue, Jerusalem
  • Prof. Yedidia Stern, Vice President of Research, The Israel Democracy Institute

4:15 pm–5:15 pm |Session One: A Legal Perspective

Moderator: MK Karin Elharrar, Yesh Atid


  • Justice Dalia Dorner, Supreme Court Justice (Emerita), President of the Israel Press Council
  • Justice Eliahu Mazza, Deputy Chief Justice, Supreme Court (Emeritus)
  • Dr. Sagit Mor, Faculty of Law, University of Haifa

5:15 pm–6:15 pm |Session Two: A Jewish Perspective

Opening Remarks: Rabbi David Lau, Chief Rabbi of Israel

Moderator: Rabbi Dr. Benny Lau, Israel Democracy Institute


  • Rabbi Ehud Bandel, The Masorti Movement in Israel
  • Rabbi Shmuel Chaim Pappenheim
  • Rabbi Rafi Feuerstein, President of the Feuerstein Institute; Co-Founder of the Tzohar Rabbinical Organization
  • Dr. Chana Friedman, Teacher of Jewish Law, Havruta Beit Midrash at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem

6:15–6:30 pm | Break

6:30–7:45 pm | Session Three: A Socio-Economic Perspective

Moderator: Prof. Yedidia Stern


  • Mr. Ahiya Kamara, Commissioner for Equal Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Ministry of Justice
  • Michal Tzuk, Director of Employment Regulation and Senior Deputy Director General, Ministry of Economy
  • Prof. Yossi Tamir, Director General, JDC-Israel
  • Adv. Shoshana Rabinowitz, Federation of Israeli Chamber of Commerce
  • Prof. Mimi Eisenstadt, Dean of the College of Social Work and Social Welfare, The Institute of Criminology, Law Department, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

7:45-8:00 pm | Summary and Conclusion

Mrs. Shira Ruderman and Prof. Yedidia Stern