Tamir was founded in 1980 by a group of dedicated individuals and families who identified a need for community living in a Jewish environment for adults with developmental disabilities in the Ottawa area.


Program, Partnership & Milestones


Founding President, Lily Penso, hosts inaugural family meetings to begin planning of the first Residential Program in Ottawa serving individuals with developmental disabilities in a Jewish environment.


Opening of Tamir’s first group home on Tweedsmuir which was home to three residents


Tamir becomes a beneficiary agency under the Jewish Federation of Ottawa


Tamir submits proposal for expansion to provide services to individuals from Rideau Regional Centre in Smith Falls, children living with their families and for families require partial support to live independently.


Tamir receives annual funding from the Ministry of Community and Social Services (MCSS) to grow residential programs and offer services to the community at large.


At the age of 32 years, Tamir celebrates its first graduate of the Tamir Bar/Bat Mitzvah Program. Highlighted the importance of this rite of passage and fostered greater understanding in the community for individuals with disabilities to have the same experiences as any Jewish person.


Tamir’s introduces its new Respite Program for families needing service but were not ready to have their children move into permanent support. Number of people supported in Tamir jumps to 16 individuals.


First Chai-Tea hosted to help raise funds for Tamir Residential Programs.


Tamir opens third Residential Program to become home to 10 new residents with both physical and developmental disabilities with 24-hrs support.


Family Support Group begins. Now called Family Advisory Committee (FACT)


First Golf ‘Fun-raiser’ is held at Edelweiss Valley Golf and Country Club


Tamir’s first Day Program received with the goal of integration and inclusion within every day activities to participants within Residential Programs.


Tamir celebrated 15 years of service. Programs expand in Day, Residential and Judaic Outreach services, as well as, the first programming offered to children.


Passage program begins to serve young adults still living at home to enjoy day programs focusing on community integration: work/volunteer placements, recreational and social skills development. Within the first year, Passage successfully partnered with over 25 businesses.


Thanks to the support of Partnership 2000, four Tamir participants travelled to Israel to take part in speaking engagements and meetings with sister agencies.


Tamir opens third full-time Residential Program which became home to five new participants.


Tamir offers support to six new individuals after the closing of the Ottawa Valley Autistic Homes.


Keshet for Kids Program started which matched children with disabilities with high school or college students to provide one-to-one support in camp activities.


Tamir core services reaches 80 individuals served through ten different programs.


Quality Enhancement (QE) system developed to ensure individual’s needs were being met and the personal goals of each participant were being achieved.


Judaic Outreach Program sees the implementation and growth of the Tamir Neshama Choir, a choral group which now travels across the Region and North America.


Tamir receives Jewish Federation of Ottawa’s Excellence in Service Award.


Tamir received the Ottawa International Day of Disabled Persons Volunteer Opportunities Award


Together with MCHSS, Tamir completed its most comprehensive housing project to build an innovative, fully accessible group home that allowed individuals as much independence as possible while still having support staff on-site.


Tamir partners with the Reena Foundation of Toronto for the Kinus Conference for Jewish Developmental Services providers across North America to share best practices.


Tamir produces a fully integrated, professionally managed production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” in celebration of its 25th Anniversary.


Tamir produces the documentary “Dreamcoat: Inclusion can take centre stage” which profiled the entire production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”, from the very first rehearsal to its sold-out debut at Centrepoint Theatre as an educational resource to help other agencies support their clients through similar initiatives.


Team Tamir makes its first appearance at the Ottawa Dragonboat Festival and is the only team which includes paddlers with developmental and physical disabilities.


Tamir is nominated for the Citizen Advocacy Celebration of People Award for Educational Award for its Dreamcoat documentary.


Tamir has grown to provide support to over 100 individuals and their families through twelve programs with the support of over 100 staff members.