A Special Marathon Man

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Meet Noam Abramoff, a four-time runner in the Tel Aviv marathon and a client in our Tel Aviv Achikam sheltered work factory.  Noam, 25, is an extremely intelligent, bilingual in English and Hebrew, American-Israeli man with autism. He loves movies, dancing, singing, as well as routine and order. 

Shulamit Center name plaque is unveiled honoring Shulamit Gildner.

Noam started running when he was 16 and involved in “Krembo Wings,” a youth movement for young people with and without disabilities. He now trains with two groups, “180° Degrees” and “Eitan – Everyone Can!” which empower and promote people with disabilities through sport. 

This past Tel Aviv marathon, Noam ran his longest distance of 10K after previously only running 5Ks. “Noam ran ten kilometers nonstop in the rain with two volunteers,” said his father, Avi Abramoff. “He especially loved the feeling of running in the rain this time.”

Noam’s father, along with his mother, American-Israeli Fern Abramoff, are very hands-on parents who will come to his aid on a moment’s notice. They have also done everything they could to make sure that Noam will have the life skills for a future of independence, self-confidence, and mental well-being. They gave him a concrete transition to adulthood by moving him to a group home when he turned 18. He now happily lives with his peers and comes home every weekend to be with his adoring parents and three older siblings. “We love him deeply and wouldn’t change him for anyone else,” said Avi.

Since discovering very few places that offer work for people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Noam’s parents are especially thankful for the routine and flexibility Chimes provides. “Chimes gives us a certain tranquility that he has something to do each day instead of being in front of the TV or on the computer and iPad,” said Avi.

For Noam himself, the routine of going to Chimes each day is so vital that during early days of Covid-19 lockdowns, Noam wouldn’t accept that Chimes was closed and independently left his group home and walked to Chimes only to find the gate locked.

“It is a social environment. It’s routine. They have trips that he loves. He works but can also stop working whenever he feels like it and go outside on the swing,” said Avi. “That could not happen in the regular workplace.”

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