Driven by a desire to move away from institutional care models for people with special needs, in 1990, Israel’s Ministry of Social Welfare and the City of Tel Aviv sought an alternative model of caring for its population with disabilities. After reviewing the operations of several agencies worldwide, they chose to adopt the innovative methodologies of Chimes of Baltimore, MD, which helps people with special needs gain as much independence as possible and reach their maximum potential.
After an agreement was set, the Israeli agencies worked closely with Chimes president Terry Perl to build an Israeli organization based on the US model. In 1991, Chimes Israel was officially registered as a not-for-profit organization (Amuta/NGO) and Dr. Alan (Asher) Manheim was appointed as the first director of Chimes Israel.
With the goal of helping people with disabilities use their own abilities and skills to lead a life of dignity, independence and community participation, the organization’s mission is:
To do all we can to improve the quality of life of people with special needs from every community, every day, through providing cutting edge professional services delivered by a well-trained and supervised, caring staff.
- An acknowledged force for society and the world to be inclusive of all the people we serve.
- The leader in developing innovative and effective programs for people with special needs.
The Chimes Israel mandate is to improve the lives of people with special needs with no distinction made based upon race, religion, color, ethnicity, politics or creed.
Chimes Israel Today
Chimes Israel remains committed to providing the foremost services using the latest approaches. It is led by Jorge Zimmerman and operated by a staff of 650 professionals and hundreds of volunteers, who carry out 25 different programs that serve more than 1,400 people. The clients we serve have intellectual and developmental disabilities including autism. Many have secondary barriers to independent living including physical and behavioral health issues.
Programs and Services
Chimes maintains rehabilitative day care centers for infants and toddlers, and recreational, social and therapeutic after school programs for older children. The children enrolled have developmental delays, autism, genetic diseases and syndromes. Diagnosis, treatment and intensive supervision help monitor each child’s development, and promote personal achievement in cognitive, motor and emotional areas. To learn more about our programs and services for children, click here.
Chimes provides services that help people with intellectual and mental disabilities find and maintain employment. For those living independently, Chimes assigns case workers who provide assistance in all facets of their daily lives including employment, residential and recreational time. It also maintains social clubs for adults with intellectual disabilities and mental illness. For those with severe handicaps, Chimes has rehabilitation and nursing daycare centers that provide individualized services. To learn more about our programs and services for adults, click here.
Working with over 14 different local authorities across Israel, Chimes’ professional programs are supported and licensed by the Israeli ministries of social affairs, health, and education. Buildings, equipment and special programs are predominantly funded by Israel’s National Insurance Institute and the Shalem Foundation. Chimes receives additional support from various public and private foundations, agencies and individual donors.
Chimes Israel is accredited by Midot, which grants accreditation to organizations that demonstrate sound program management and effective use of resources. To learn more about Midot, click here.
Chimes Israel was the first Israeli non-profit to achieve ISO 9001 quality standard accreditation, certifying organizational process management excellence and efficiency.
Chimes Israel Senior Management Team
Jorge Zimmermann has served as the CEO of the Chimes Israel Association since 2000. George has been engaged in providing special needs services, family counseling and staff management for over 30 years. He holds a BA in special education and theater, an MA in educational counseling, an MBA. He also has a teaching certificate.
Vice President and Administrative Director
Mike Salem is one of the founding members of Chimes Israel. Since the organization’s establishment in 1991, Mike has served as its VP and administrative director, overseeing the provision of services to people with special needs and managing its professional staff. Mike has a BA in psychology.
Vice President and Program Director
For the past 25 years, Vered Carsenti has been involved in providing services to people with special needs and their families. The Program Manager at Chimes Israel since 2006, Vered holds a BA and MA in social work.
Shay Benjamin, CPA
Shay Benjamin has been in accounting and finance positions since 2010, starting his career at the accounting firm Ernst & Young. In 2017, he was the CFO of Chimes Israel. Shay holds a BA in economics and accounting and an MBA.
Human Resources Director
Sarit Schor been worked in human resources since 1990. She brings extensive experience in organizational development, training and management. She holds an MA in social psychology.
Oral Galula Lapid
Development and Resources Director
Oral Galula Lapid is a former legal advisor and expert in the area accessibility for people with disabilities. She is the former CEO of the Philanthropy Educator and was the resource development department manager for the Third Sector.