The Ofek [“horizon”] Marriage Program is a groundbreaking initiative. We inspire our residents to be independent and a part of society to the best of their abilities. At this crucial junction in their lives, we assist couples with disabilities in establishing their marital homes in Jerusalem. Our assistance begins from the time the couple is engaged, to their wedding day and then day-to-day life in their new home. We do our utmost to ensure a couple’s independence and privacy as we assist them in navigating the intricacies of marriage.
While Ofek does not make introductions (Shidduchim) we make sure that the couple is a good match. We provide premarital counseling to ensure that the couple is compatible in terms of their physical and cognitive abilities and capable to empathize and listen to each other. From there, we furnish an apartment for the couple and provide a monthly rent stipend, which covers basic living expenses. We guide them through the prewedding bureaucracy with the Rabbanut, and are there for them every step of the way on their wedding day. Each individual has access to one-on-one counseling to help them through this transition period.
Once a week, all couples within the Ofek program attend couples’ therapy to check-in with a professional counselor about any issues they may have. Additionally, a Madricha (Counselor) comes to their apartment for an in-person visit at least once a week, and the couple is able to call her 24/7 for any urgent needs. Each couple also has an apartment coordinator whose role is to ensure our couples’ needs, both physical and emotional, are attended to.
In order to enrich our residents social lives we have established a couple’s social club, that includes programs with a variety of activities and getaways. Our goal is to enable each couple to explore their individual interests and form strong social ties with other couples.