The Etta Israel Center honored three young volunteers for their work in helping students with special needs. The Jan. 9 gala at the California Science Center recognized Esther Levine, Daniel Schwartz and
Rita Miller Statman for the time they’ve put in as one-on-one counselors at camp, weekend retreats and holiday programming for children and young adults with special needs.
Schwartz, who has cerebral palsy, has been both a client and volunteer at Etta Israel and is currently enrolled in the Pathway Program at UCLA Extension, a two-year certificate program for students with developmental disabilities. Last year, Schwartz received the Safeway Community Hero award for his work at Etta Israel, volunteering at the Roxbury Park Senior Center and serving as president of a local chapter of Best Buddies, a community that helps people with intellectual disabilities.
Etta Israel has inclusion programs and self-contained classrooms at Jewish schools for children with educational and developmental special needs; three residential homes for adults in the Valley; summer camps and other recreational activities staffed mostly by teen volunteers and a support program aimed at the Iranian Jewish community.