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 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.
Employment Workshops 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.
Art Gallery - Gift Shop
Decorative items produced by Ma’arag participants in the various workshops, as well as artworks created by local artists, can be purchased in the art gallery - gift shop.
Event and Conference Hall -
A multi-purpose hall is available for holding professional conferences, seminars, private events and workshops for up to 200 people (150 seated). A second smaller meeting room is also available.
Both halls are equipped with projectors, screens, amplification systems, seating areas, and more.
Ma'arag runs workshops for companies and organizations that offer their employees a glimpse into the complexities of a working day for people with disabilities.
For the General Public: “Café Ma'arag” is a kosher dairy café-restaurant that is open to the public six days a week. It offers authentic Galilean cuisine made with the finest locally-grown raw materials.
The café is frequented by local residents, tourists staying in nearby bed and breakfasts, people on holiday who are passing through and, of course, by Ma'arag participants when they are on coffee breaks.
Café Ma'arag is a social eatery, and all profits are reinvested back into the non-profit.
It also serves as a place for people with disabilities to work and train to work in a restaurant within a ‘supported environment’ framework.
Café Ma'arag’s charming courtyard is also a popular venue for private events.
The Kfar Vradim Community and Surrounding Areas:
The Ma'arag reception hall is utilized by the local Kfar Vradim community, as well as by the Cochav Organization.
All of the town’s cultural events, such as lectures (“Katedra BaKfar”), exhibitions, theatrical shows, community sing-alongs, movie nights and a variety of productions are held in the Ma'arag reception hall a few days every week.
In addition, the hall is used by students from all the schools and preschools in the region, as well as by the local council.
Ma'arag rehabilitants are always invited to take part, free of charge, in events and activities that take place on site.