The History of MICHA

Laying the cornerstone by the founder , the late Dr. Ezra Korin

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 it was possible to teach children to communicate if the hearing disability was discovered early enough. Early identification was the key to success in this budding profession. 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 decisive year was 1953 during a scientific convention in the Netherlands, at which deaf children appeared on the 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 to change stigmas related to children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Thereafter, they needed to find a suitable location and the 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 to 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 details and every stage of MICHA’s development.

Dr. Korine worked and lectured to thousands of teachers, nurses, social workers and families to raise awareness of the problems faced by the child with hearing loss and to acquaint them with the methods and practices offered by MICHA. 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. The 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 to its present location on Reading Street in Ramat Aviv. Until then, the work was carried out in a small basement on Bograshov Street in Tel Aviv.

Today, generations of MICHA graduates are integrated in society as equals – in the army and in every possible realm of society. Dr. Korine made the sky his limit and MICHA’s graduates prove to us daily that even this limit can be surpassed.