As we observe Jewish Disability and Inclusion Month (JDAIM), we want to share the remarkable story of Meir Sachakov, a 25-year-old graduate of the Equal in Uniform program, whose commitment to service and inclusion exemplifies the best of our community values.

Empowering Through Inclusion: AKIM’s Equal In Uniform Program

Meir’s journey began with the support of AKIM’s Equal In Uniform program, a partner agency of the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County. AKIM provides opportunity and belonging to thousands of persons with intellectual disabilities in Israel, based on the belief that every person has the right to achieve their fullest and most independent life.

The Equal in Uniform program enables young Israelis with disabilities to engage in and benefit from national service, achieving their personal goals as meaningful and valued participants in this life-altering rite of passage.

Thanks to the Federation’s annual support of this program, Meir successfully completed his service in a prestigious IDF combat unit, emerging with skills and confidence that have propelled him forward in his career.

Answering the Call: Meir’s Reservist Duty

As Operation Swords of Iron unfolded, Meir received a call to duty as a reservist (“miluim”). He became the first Equal in Uniform participant to be called up, a testament to his capabilities and the program’s commitment to inclusion. With unwavering enthusiasm, Meir reported to his unit, ready to contribute to the defense of his homeland.

“This is the first time that I received a ‘Tzav 8’ (emergency enlistment), and now I’m making an impact. My goal is to act effectively and respond to every need and convey optimism until we achieve victory. It is a privilege to bring joy to my fellow soldiers who are happy with my presence. In my first week back, I met many good and interesting people who are fully dedicated to the State of Israel, like I am. This is family for me, inseparable from my life,” he said.

Meir reminds us of the power of unity and the strength of our shared values. His induction into reserve duty during this critical time is not only a personal triumph, but also a victory for the Equal in Uniform program, AKIM, and all our supporters who champion equal opportunity.

“The People of Israel persevere by being united,” said Meir. “We have an excellent army that strives for victory by going forward at all times, with determination in the righteousness of our path and deep faith in the eternity of our People.”

With you, the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County can support individuals with intellectual disabilities. Meir’s story is an inspiration, reminding us that with resolve, we can overcome any challenge that comes our way.