Recent comments

  • Reply to: USY Reverses Interfaith Dating Ban   11 hours 33 min ago

    Of those who dated non-Jews that I know personally, all but one married those former non-Jews in Jewish ceremonies. The one who had an inter-faith wedding raised her children as Jews. The result was an increase in the number of Jewish families and children.

  • Reply to: 6 Killed In Bulgaria Attack On Israelis; Peres Vows Action As Wounded Return   17 hours 37 min ago

    Wise up, man. As important as the history of the black slave trade is, we are not talking about that here. Keep your focus; or find some focus. Not every problem in the world is the responsibility of the Jews.

  • Reply to: Actually, It Doesn't Take A Village   18 hours 22 min ago

    As the mother of a 22 year old son with autism who used to live in a group home, I can assure Mr. Eidelman that living with just one or two other people in a typical home is NOT THE ONLY solution to the special needs housing crisis.

    It may be the 'acceptable' solution for some, and perhaps the politically correct option for the other neighborhood residents, but it also creates an isolating habitat for the special needs individual - who in reality, rarely leaves that home and rarely socializes with "typical" people. Been there. Done that.

    With one in 68 individuals now being diagnosed with autism, the reality is that we need ALL housing options/models - group homes, single apartments, communities, farms, ranches and yes, "villages" to accommodate the crisis. Each has its own appeal and benefits.

    For example, why not view the needs of the developmentally delayed individual the same way we view senior living?

    Why can't we create communities that serve our special needs population the way our seniors desire to live - in "villages" that provides social, recreational, vocational options? Seniors value a 'secure' environment and enjoy the company of others their age. Do we tell them that's a mistake?

    The point is what appeals to one person may not appeal to another. And that's ok.

    My son's "right" to decide where he wants to live is essentially a "civil right" - and that is what must be preserved in any discussion of housing options for special needs individuals.

  • Reply to: Actually, It Doesn't Take A Village   18 hours 48 min ago

    The premises in this article ignore a major concept - that being "freedom of choice." Persons with disabilities should have the same rights granted everyone in society. If the choice of a gated community, farmstead or other disability-specific housing is appropriate to and commensurate with their need, then what right do so-called "advocates" have to say otherwise? The option of living in a typical condo, house or apartment is often the MOST isolating setting of all. Intentional communities was the 2nd most preferred setting in a recent poll by Autism Speaks. Please stop trying to limit choices - one size does not fit all.

  • Reply to: Actually, It Doesn't Take A Village   19 hours 26 min ago

    As president of Autism Society San Francisco Bay Area and the Jewish mother of two children with nonverbal autism I am appalled by Mr Eideleman's comments, which seem to be based in some pointless ideology rather than obvious facts about viable supported housing models for dependent adults with profound disabilities.
    Sure, some developmentally disabled adults can live isolated in an apartment with a caretaker and do just fine, but for many others, such arrangements are dangerous, lonely, and devoid of opportunity--a virtual prison and invitation for physical and sexual abuse.
    The SF Bay Area has many "congregate" housing examples where developmentally disabled adults are engaged, thriving and safe. These include Cedars of Marin, Vine Village, Kainos, and Camphill, not to mention autism-friendly group homes. Far from recoiling from these models, parents are clamoring to replicate them for their grown autistic children who cannot care for themselves, and who need amenities, structure, open space and programming far beyond what a generic apartment can offer.
    In California we now have 73,000 residents with severe forms of autism (up from just a few thousand 20 years ago). To house such an unprecedented and vast population we won't need a village--we will need hundreds of them.
    Jill Escher
    President
    Autism Society San Francisco Bay Area