The community's name, Ma'an lil-Hayat, means "together for life" and points to essential qualities of L'Arche communities all over the world. First, there is often a lifetime commitment to the members with intellectual disabilities. At L'Arche Portland, we provide these "core members" of our community with a home for life. Second, L'Arche communities come together in order to live more fully--celebrating life and the gifts that each person brings. In this we are often led by the members with disabilities, as noted on the website for Ma'an lil-Hayat: "In a world that often looks with disdain on people with intellectual disabilities, Ma’an lil-Hayat celebrates their creativity, transparency, and great capacity for joy as important gifts to be shared."
To learn more about the Bethlehem L'Arche community, read the article "Empowering People with Intellectual Disabilities in the Palestinian Territories." To experience coming together for (on behalf of) life at L'Arche Portland, join us for one of our monthly home tours or another upcoming event.