11/08/11 (NYC) – The International Center for Autism Research and Education (ICare4Autism), a New York City-based non-profit organization, held a special Breakfast event honoring the Mayor of Jerusalem Nir Barkat in a meeting with leading philanthropists and professionals in New York City at the offices of J. Morton Davis, Chairman of D.H. Blair Investment Banking Corporation on November 8th, 2011. Mayor Barkat spoke about the importance of Icare’s Global Autism Center on Mt. Scopus in Jerusalem, Israel, the first such center of its kind globally. Co-Chairing the event was John A Catsimatidis, CEO of the Red Apple Group and Gristedes Foods.
When it opens in 2014, the Center’s 5-acre campus will feature a state-of-the-art on site research facility; the world’s first university-level school of autism studies; an educational center applying the latest research and technology to the special needs of autistic students across the autistic spectrum; and a foundation to support the transformation of autism education and treatment worldwide.
In addition to these existing program plans, Dr. Joshua Weinstein, Founder & CEO of ICare4Autism announced an important new initiative: the world’s first Comprehensive Autism Workforce Development Center. The Workforce Development Center will provide preparation for workforce entry; vocational training and employment services in more than a dozen fields ranging from semi-skilled to the high tech sector; specialized support to persons with Asperger’s Syndrome, and ongoing job coaching and mentoring.
Dr. Eric Hollander, the chairman of the advisory committee for ICare4Autism explained why the Global Autism Center is so important now, “The Global Autism Center will bring together the large scale data and collaborative networks urgently needed to drive breakthrough genetic and epigenetic autism research. These networks do not yet exist, and no other organization is building them. It will create the world’s first integrated platform for cross disciplinary collaboration between biomedical researchers and educators. The creation of such a platform is critical to global efforts to foster early detection and effective intervention. And finally, having the Global Autism Center in Jerusalem will have a powerful and transformative impact on the Israeli autism community, bringing the world’s leading researchers into close collaboration with their Israeli colleagues and rapidly bringing their most important advances to Israelis with autism.”
Harvey Seifter, Director of Special Projects at ICare4Autism discussed ICare4Autism’s plans to convene the world’s first Autism Philanthropy Summit in Jerusalem next year. The two objectives of the summit will be: to increase collaboration and cooperation among existing players in autism philanthropy; and to increase overall investment in autism globally by bringing new players to the table.
Commenting on the Global Autism Center, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said, “The work of ICare4Autism is critical for those affected by autism around the globe. I am honored to be a part of this groundbreaking project and will do everything in my power to assist in making it come to fruition.”
Mr. Davis remarked, “I’m grateful to all who join me in support of this center that will improve the lives of so many people affected by autism, and the vital work of ICare4Autism as it strives to bring together researchers and professionals under one roof to collaborate and find a cure for autism.”
Joshua Weinstein said, “We at ICare4Autism are very excited about the new developments in the strategic planning for the Global Autism Center and are so grateful for all the support of so many leaders in the global community.”
John A Catsimatidis added, “I am very enthusiastic about this much needed center that is so critical now that we are seeing the numbers of children and people with autism on the rise all over the world.”