KADIMA School is in its 13th year of catering to the needs of special children with Down Syndrome, Autism, and other mental disabilities. The school began in 1988, six years after the birth of Moshe Plato, the son of Rabbi and Mrs. Chaim and Rachel Plato.
Moshe, born in 1982, served as the catalyst for the establishment of a comprehensive educational facility meeting the special needs of special children in Israel. Rabbi Plato saw the need for a comprehensive special educational facility providing quality therapy programs and vocational-training programs in a live-in environment consistent with Torah values. The facility that exists today is quite an accomplishment considering the schools modest beginnings. Thanks to the dedication, love, and expertise of dedicated staff, the dream is, for intents and purposes, a reality. But advancement of the dream, as well as its continual maintenance, heavily depends on the contributions of kind-hearted individuals realizing the importance of this endeavor.
The Kadima School is located nearby the scenic shores of Netanya, about 40 minutes north of Tel-Aviv. Rabbi Plato put together a team of specialist advisers in designing the schools interdisciplinary approach. Contributing to schools development were Dr. Richard Goodman, a world authority in genetics and a member of the faculty of the Sackler Medical School at Tel-Aviv University and Professor Miriam Gillis, an expert in Special Education and Chairman of the Department of Special Education at Bar-Illan University.
An article in The Jerusalem Post, dated Tuesday, December 17, 1985, reported on a documentary program entitled Second Glance, which noted that 80% of Israeli children born with Down's Syndrome were abandoned by their parents in hospitals. The program reported that these children were once placed in institutions under the aegis of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, but in recent years the Ministry relinquished responsibility for the Down Syndrome infants.
Today, thanks to the hope inspiring educational efforts of individuals like Rabbi Plato, the abandonment rate has receded to well under 50%.