On November 29th, in a ceremony at Jerusalem’s City Hall hosted by Mayor Nir Barkat, ICare4Autism Founder and President Joshua Weinstein, Ph.D., M.B.A. announced plans to create the world’s first Global Autism Center on Mt. Scopus in Israel. The Center’s mission will be to catalyze breakthrough innovation in autism research and treatment by driving powerful multidisciplinary collaborations among the world’s leading investigators, educators and clinicians.
When complete and ready to open in 2014, the five acre campus (currently the home of Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, which will relocate to downtown Jerusalem in 2013) will include many unique elements, including:
- A state of the art research facility to serve as a global platform for investigative collaboration between medical, academic and educational institutions, and synthesize autism-related information worldwide.
- The world’s first university-level school of professional autism studies, raising the standards of therapeutic practice worldwide by providing specialized advanced education to physicians, educators and therapists.
- A comprehensive educational center applying the latest research, cutting-edge technology and innovative design to the special needs of students between 18 months and 21 years of age with Asperger Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorder and PDD.
- An international autism foundation which will provide grants and subsidies to develop a global network of affiliate organizations, and support their collaborative efforts to transform autism education and treatment worldwide.
Acquiring the land and buildings for ICare4Autism‘s Global Autism Center is the fruit of many years of planning and preparation, and a powerful way to address the critical needs of autism patients and their families worldwide.
Speaking of the importance of this initiative, Dr. Weinstein noted “I founded ICare4Autism because 20 years in the field convinced me that in order to successfully tackle the global autism epidemic, we need a global community of researchers, educators and advocates that cuts across artificial disciplinary, institutional, cultural and national borders. For the first time, our new Global Autism Center will give us the ability to convene, enable and empower that community.”
Dr. Eric Hollander, Chairman of ICare4Autism’s Scientific Advisory Council hailed the announcement, saying “The Global Autism Center will drive the research needed to at last discover the etiology of autism and its biologic and environmental causes; and create opportunities for the powerful multi-disciplinary collaborations needed to bring better methods of detection and treatment to patients and their families all over the world.”
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat also expressed his support and enthusiasm for this venture, saying “On this historic day, we welcome The International Center for Autism Research and Education’s plan to create a Global Autism Center on Mt. Scopus, and we look forward to the breakthroughs in autism research that will emanate from its Jerusalem campus to benefit the entire world.”