While Iron Dome's missiles intercepted Grad rockets fired at Israel, no one could imagine that parts of this state-of-the-art system were manufactured by people with mental disabilities.
Abie, Ida and Michal, residents of a hostel for people with mental disabilities run by the Social Affairs Ministry, have been employed by Rafael
in the production of the Iron Dome system
for over a year, as part of the company's community outreach program.
"We are pleased to have a job," Ida, 46, told Yedioth Ahronoth; "We're serious employees, since Iron Dome's parts must be precise – these are the parts that ensure that the missiles don't hit us. I have seen Iron Dome's missiles in action on TV and I'm very proud of our work."
Eti Vaqnin, the hostel's employment coordinator, added that "During Pillar of Defense I was very proud of the residets' contribution to the State."
Shimon Greenzeig, the hostel manager, noted that residents delivered highly accurate products, and stressed that "It is not easy to measure up to Rafael's standards; no mishaps are tolerated. The work is a source of pride and peace of mind for the hostel tenants, and they are rewarded for it."
According to Yossi Levy, who is in charge of welfare and community outreach at Rafael, the company "vowed to defend Israel," and has therefore decided to exercise social responsibility on top of technological developments and "utilize our aptitude to contribute to Israeli society."
The Social Affairs Ministry was just as proud of the project: "We believe that everyone has the right to live in dignity, and fulfil his or her potential," said Nahum Itzkovich, Director General of the Social Affairs Ministry.
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