Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Uri Ariel recently visited Israel’s Grabski Rehabilitation Center, located in the northern city of Migdal HaEmek. The center has gained international recognition for its cutting-edge innovations which treat and enhance the lives of people suffering from multiple sclerosis (MS).
MS is a degenerative disease that suddenly attacks the nervous cells, brain and spinal cord of healthy people. It causes rapid deterioration that eventually deprives its victims of mobility or even the capability to swallow food.
The Grabski Rehabilitation Center is operated by Israel’s longest running charity organization, Colel Chabad. Not only did Colel Chabad create the center to provide adults with MS the maximum potential for independent living, they also included the most advanced therapies to enhance the lives of those plagued by the devastating illness. In fact, the center is the only place in the world which provides people with extremely limited mobility a way to make music.
By using laser technology, residents are able to create music through their own, even extremely limited, body movements. The hi-tech sensors and video screens enable individuals and groups to “compose” music through very subtle body movement or through biofeedback from their brain waves when they wear a specially designed EEG helmet.
Ariel’s visit was part of a comprehensive tour of religious activities in the city as well as places where people volunteer. The minister spoke with patients, staff and volunteers at the center. Along with visiting the music therapy lab, he also went to the center’s therapeutic garden and its digital printing factory, where patients work. At the digital printing factory, Ariel took a picture with one of the workers stricken with MS who then embossed the image onto a souvenir for the minister.
Residents at the center receive individualized treatment plans which encourage them to move as much as possible in order to slow the progression of their disease and help stop their muscles from further atrophy. The all inclusive program provides not only music therapy but also psychotherapy, physiotherapy, academic and Bible studies, art, ceramics, horticulture and the crafting of products, the sales of whose proceeds go directly to Grabsky residents.
Center Director Kobi Wiesel stated that the minister was very impressed by his visit and that he had never seen anything like the Grabski center’s treatment facility. Ariel said that he would pass his positive impressions onto Welfare Minister Haim Katz, adding that the volunteers should be blessed for the holy work that they do.
To support the charity work of Colel Chabad, please visit here.