Beit Issie Shapiro, Israel’s leading disabilities organization, has announced it will set up the country’s first Center of Excellence for Cerebral Palsy and severe motor disabilities. This has been made possible by the generosity of New Yorkers Eileen and Jerry Lieberman, long-time and dedicated supporters and members of the NY Board of Trustees. Mr. Lieberman is also the former President and Chief Operating Officer of Alliance Bernstein L.P.
This week's Torah portion “Vayera" (And He (God) Appeared), relates a traumatic episode in the life of Hagar, Sarah’s servant and the woman who bore Ishmael to Sarah’s husband, Abraham. Hagar behaved haughtily to Sarah, and Ishmael’s behavior verged on violence.
Editor's Note: As we close out National Down Syndrome Month, we wanted to share another important voice focusing on living with Down Syndrome.
At 2 lbs 3 oz, Ilyse had already acquired the name "wild woman." Born prematurely with Down Syndrome, Ilyse showed spunk and grit and the intensive care unit nurses acknowledged this with a nickname. Later, as a competitor in Special Olympics, Ilyse's uncanny ability to capture the limelight led to her being called "Hollywood". But the honorific that has had the greatest transformative effect on Ilyse is that of "Auntie."
Editor's Note: We are delighted to share this blog, written by one of the participants in Ramah New England's Vocational Education program about her experiences.
My name is Gabriella Levi. I am 20 years old and this was my first summer in the Vocational Education program at Camp Ramah in New England. I am currently a student at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA. I am studying to work in a preschool.
What I loved about Voc Ed was learning to be independent. I liked that I was treated as an adult more than a camper. For example, at Ramah I had a lot of choices for how to spend my time.
When our son was a newborn, another mom of a child with Down syndrome suggested that we see “Praying with Lior.” Deeply moved by the movie, I turned to my husband and told him that we needed to find a synagogue so that our Julian would have a faith community that knows, loves and supports him. We were not interested in “tolerance” or even “acceptance.” We wanted to be part of a congregation that celebrated difference and embraced members with disabilities as part of its fabric.