The History of MICHA

Our founder, the late Dr. Ezra Korin, laying the cornerstone

Beit Micha in the 70's

Hearing impaired child in Audiology Hearing test

MICHA’s story is one of far-reaching vision, determination and uncompromising dedication.

MICHA was founded by Dr. Ezra Korine, an ear, nose and throat specialist who headed the Audiology Institute at Sheba Hospital in Tel Hashomer.

Dr. Korine was familiar with the needs of deaf children through his work in Israel and in France. In the early fifties, he already understood that early identification was the key to success in this budding profession. If the hearing disability was discovered early enough, it was possible to teach children to communicate. At that time, an Israeli child who was deaf or hard of hearing had no prospect of social integration and consequently could not hope to lead a normal, productive life.

The pivotal year was 1953, when a scientific convention in the Netherlands brought deaf children on stage displaying impressive capabilities in song and movement. The decision was clear – if they can, we can. Anything possible abroad is possible in Israel.

In 1953, with their parent’s permission, four children participated in a revolutionary experiment headed by Dr. Korine. Its stated purpose was complete social integration by learning a spoken language rather than sign language. This was to be accomplished in Israeli society, which at that time was acutely lacking in awareness and tolerance of children with special needs. It was here at MICHA, that Dr. Korine and a handful of dedicated volunteers started to spread the word. The first step was to make people aware of the problem and the possible solutions. Next, they had to bring about early identification of children throughout the country and eliminate the stigma surrounding  deaf or hard of hearing children. Thereafter, they needed to find a suitable location and efficient resources to carry out this innovative educational concept. The battle was spread over many fronts.

In the late fifties and early sixties, MICHA finally became established as a voluntary organization, winning the support and awareness of the public. This was achieved thanks to the many devoted and capable volunteers who enlisted to work with the children. They also worked diligently to spread the word and open social and financial doors, while attempting to obtain governmental support. The “captain” of the ship was Dr. Ezra Korine who was involved in all the details through every stage of MICHA’s development.

Dr. Korine worked with and lectured to thousands of teachers, nurses, social workers and families to raise awareness of the problems faced by children with hearing loss and introduce them to the methods and practices MICHA offered. This pioneering work was done together with the parents who were full partners in MICHA’s projects.

In the sixties, teachers from the Arab sector also began training to work with children with hearing loss.  Strong cooperation with the Arab sector continues to this day, and the MICHA Kfar Kassem Rehabilitation Center is an integral part of MICHA Center.

In 1973, MICHA moved from a small basement on Bograshov Street in Tel Aviv to its present location on Reading Street in Ramat Aviv.

Today, generations of MICHA graduates are integrated in society as equals in every possible realm of society, even the army! Dr. Korine made the sky the limit, and MICHA’s graduates prove this to us every day.