Excited to be chosen for the EDI GSL Experience in Israel

Saturday, June 15, 2013

And onto week 3!

Shalom Havirm (Hello Friends),

I cannot believe that I am already beginning my third week here in Israel. With each passing day I am constantly finding new places and learning interesting facts that continue to instill in me a greater appreciation for this amazing country and its culture.

At the Commission, I have really enjoyed learning more about Israeli accessibility laws through my work on the regulations. I am almost done with the document, and I just have to finish up writing the abstract for its presentation at the United Nations. Lawrence and I are also very fortunate to be able to attend the UN conference in New York City with the Israeli Commission the week after we return to the States. I also began working on some research that will serve as background information for a new bill the Commission is drafting to better regulate sheltered workshops. Because my experience has been so focused on learning about integrative opportunities for employment, I really appreciate having the opportunity to conduct an in depth study of sheltered workshops and their development in the United States, as I now have a much better foundation in disability history particularly as it relates to sheltered workshops. Next week I will start to look at practices in England, so it will be interesting to learn more about the UK’s position on sheltered workshops. Also, I wanted to convey my sincere appreciation to all of the EDI staff that so quickly responded to my information requests with helpful responses! Thank you!

 Outside of work Lawrence and I have also been keeping busy. We did some more touring this week and I actually just returned from a trip to Ein Gedi, Masada, and the Dead Sea. We also were lucky enough to spend some time with Judy, who departed from her visit yesterday.  Judy arranged a meeting for us with Rivka and Judge Adler, both of whom have been great resources during our time here.  Judge Adler invited us to attend his final class of the semester at Hebrew University’s law school tomorrow, and although understanding the Hebrew might be a challenge, I am eager to experience what a labor law class is like in Israel. On Thursday, Rivka also took Judy, Lawrence and I out for a tour of the area around Hadassah hospital and Ein Karem. Rivka has been such a fantastic resource since we've arrived, and she's dedicated so much time to giving Lawrence and I a local experience of Israel. 

Judy,  Lawrence and me in Ein Karem

Rivka and me in the desert near her daughter Navit's house. 

 Judy also provided us with the updated itinerary for our upcoming internship with Elwyn, which is extremely exciting! They have put together an amazing schedule for Lawrence and I, including trips to Haifa, the Knesset, and meetings with businessmen in Israel. While I am loving my work at the Commission, I am also looking forward to this very different experience.

Thanks for keeping up to date with our posts and for your regular comments. I look forward to sharing more about my experiences here soon!


P.S. For those interested in reading more daily updates from our Israel adventures, I have also been keeping a personal travel blog that can be found here:


  1. Thanks for the post Laura! Glad to hear your work at the Commission is going well and that you had some time to travel this weekend. Amazing pictures, also at your personal blog... Enjoy this 3rd week! - Irene

  2. This is a great post Laura, I feel like I am there with you :). Thanks so much and I'm so glad all continues to go well. Great pictures too :). --Erin

  3. Thanks Erin and Irene! Hope things in Ithaca are going just as well :)