Maarag – Cochav Hazafon

August 2020

Ma’arag is an innovative model that naturally integrates the community’s social life in an occupational and cultural center designed to improve the lives of people with disabilities. It succeeds in doing so in a respectful and sensitive manner, using initiative and creativity.
Located in the heart of Kfar Vradim, Ma’arag is an occupational center that caters to people with a wide range of disabilities. The center offers a variety of art workshops and boasts an art gallery- gift shop, a café- restaurant, and a hall where events and conferences are held.

What makes this rehabilitation initiative truly unique is its combination of communal, cultural and commercial components. These elements join together to create a strong foundation upon which people with a wide range of interests come together.
The gorgeous setting, located in the heart of a Galilee forest, attracts local residents as well as visitors who come to Ma’arag to participate in a variety of activities where people from different walks of life meet one another as equals.
These interactions, which take place on a daily basis, serve to break down barriers between the different communities, help eliminate prejudices, and lead to the formation of true partnerships.

Ma’arag is a rehabilitation occupational center for over 100 adults with disabilities that participate in a variety of art workshops in the following fields:
Textiles, ceramics, woodworking, laser cutting, basket weaving, multimedia, printing, and more…
The workshops and the café also serve as a training center that simulates actual places of work, to teach participants the skills and provide tools which they need to become part of the “regular” labor force. As a result of their experiences at Ma’arag, individuals gain work experience and learn how to cope with feedback, deal with authority figures and time constraints of their work schedule, gain self-confidence and receive generous amounts of encouragement as they realize their employment potential.

Products and works of art made by Ma’arag participants during workshops are displayed in the onsite art gallery- gift shop. These items are also available for purchase at fairs or can be ordered by corporate and private customers.
In addition to occupational therapy, that they receive on site, rehabilitants also enjoy paramedical and psycho-social treatments, professional study and training activities, physical rehabilitation sessions, as well as a variety of recreational and leisure activities.

Ma’arag offers therapeutic activities to people with a broad spectrum and level of disabilities and is accessible to all population segments. It offers an encouraging and flexible approach, while emphasizing maintenance of day to day skills, along with those needed for employment and productivity.
The talented and caring professional staff at Ma’arag is made up of social workers, occupational therapists, physical therapists, professionals from the art world and an array of volunteers. 

Maarag operates under the umbrella of The Cochav Hatzafon Association 
(a registered nonprofit) develops and operates a continuum of comprehensive quality services (treatment and rehabilitation, housing, employment, social and leisure) for disabled people, who are residents of the northern periphery of Israel.

We believe that every person has a right to a life of equals among equals, a right to fulfill his personal potential hidden inside him, and a right to receive the services necessary to realize this potential.

The Association seeks to develop opportunities for personal growth within disabled people that will lead them to integration in the various circles of life within the community. Unique platforms enable service recipients to maximize available options and to improve the quality of their lives.