Friends of AKIM USA

Public & Community Advocacy

The Public and Community Advocacy section leads AKIM Israel national “Inclusion” vision, by promoting:

  • Public awareness
  • Self-advocacy
  • Self-determination as everyone else and the authority to exert control in their lives
  • Full inclusion and participation, including community-based housing.


By directing the activities of 49 AKIM Israel branches (staffed with 800 volunteers), as well as parents committees, throughout Israel, The Public and Community Advocacy section encourages the creation of regional / community leadership, which functions as a local lobby to improve the life of the intellectually and developmentally disabled persons in their communities.

Besides volunteering and supporting the day to day life of the disabled persons in their area, the local branches promote:

  • Building more day-care and accommodation facilities,
  • Improving programs and services levels, mostly afternoon activities.
  • Creating public awareness to the special needs of the intellectually and developmentally disabled population.




What's New at AKIM

Yossi Zvi, was elected as the new chairman of Friends of Akim Israel. Zvi has been in senior management positions in the business sector for the past 30 years and has headed a real estate and mall management company in recent years. “When I was asked to accept the position, I did not hesitate. I felt that now was my time to contribute and allow people to live a better life, “said Yossi Zvi at the meeting.
In 2020 Akim opened 7 new apartments in the community: in Kfar Saba, Karmiel, Yavne, and Rehovot.
AKIM Israel serves as guardian for more than 1,500 persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities, regardless of their faith, ethnic background, age or sex
Rabbi Dr. Benyamin (Benny) Lau, who was elected on Sunday, June 20th, 2021, to be the new Chairman of Akim Israel, unanimously by the organization’s General Assembly members. Rabbi Benny Lau will serve as Chairman of Akim in place of Admiral (R) Ami Ayalon, who served in the position for 11 years, years in which he led significant processes in the organization, from establishing it as a human-focused organization, working to hear the voices of people with intellectual disabilities and to lead actions of the policy change and assimilation of positive attitudes towards people with intellectual disabilities and their inclusion into Israeli society.