A moving encounter took place this week when 48 members of the US Maccabi Swim Team visited Tel Aviv’s Beit Halochem Rehabilitation Sports and Recreation Center and met with Zahal Disabled Veterans.

US Olympic Gold Medalist Anthony Ervin was amongst them.  After touring the facility and watching wheelchair dancer Anna Wichbein perform a solo Waltz, the US swimmers experienced playing wheelchair basketball together with the Israeli players. Ervin attested he had never before played wheelchair basketball.

The visit ended when Hanoch Budin, Israel’s Paralympic Gold Medalist swimmer shared his inspiring personal story.

The Zahal Disabled Veterans Organization (ZDVO) is a registered non-profit organization, established in the wake of the War of Independence (1949), with the purpose of providing the 6,000 disabled veterans from this war with all their needs towards the long process of their rehabilitation. It is the only organization legally responsible for representing those veterans wounded and disabled while serving in defense of the State of Israel.