Memorial garden will provide equal employment for special needs people

The memorial garden at ADI Negev-Nahalat Eran has been dedicated to Rhoda Fischer.

By Donna Rachel Edmunds ~ Jerusalem Post

A memorial garden, which will provide equal opportunity employment for people with special needs, has been dedicated to Rhoda Fischer, who was a passionate advocate of inclusion for the disabled in her role as the Honorary President of ADI Negev-Nahalat Eran from 2008-2013.

Some 500 participants witnessed via Zoom and Facebook the memorial ceremony and dedication of the Rhoda Fischer garden, held on Sunday, July 5 to conclude the initial 30-day mourning period.

The dedication of the garden was chosen as, in life, Rhoda held a deep love of flowers, comparing them to the disabled children she advocated for through ADI.

“In addition to their natural beauty, she saw flowers as the ultimate symbol of potential and believed that every bloom could reach its greatest potential with the proper care and attention,” ADI said in a statement. “She believed the same was true of children, and was dedicated to promoting the ADI mission.”

ADI cares for more than 750 children with intellectual and developmental special needs at its four residential facilities, offering them advanced medical, educational, and rehabilitative care. In addition, some 45,000 outpatients receive the same care annually. The organization’s driving mission is to nurture the individual, allowing each child to fulfill their potential.

The memorial garden at ADI Negev will be tended by 26 gardens with special needs, providing the gardeners with a fair wage earned within a supportive framework.

“Today, we inaugurate this special flower garden in memory of our beloved Rhoda,” Major General (Res.) Doron Almog, Chairman of ADI Negev-Nahalat Eran, told attendees during the ceremony. “A magical garden that will cause the desert to blossom, as envisioned by the prophet Isaiah, and that will reflect Rhoda’s inner beauty and her deep love for this special place and its residents,”   This garden is an expression of our steadfast commitment to memorialize Rhoda, the values she held dear, and her love for the children of ADI.”

Joining the ceremony from San Francisco, Rhoda’s son David Fischer added: “This garden is the perfect tribute and one that my mother would have loved. She would teach by telling and more often by showing, and when there was something that she cared about, something that she loved, she couldn’t help but tell you all about it. 

“This living memorial will advance the mission of ADI Negev and give people the chance to not just hear about how to do something but to actually roll up their sleeves and do it.”

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