Blogs

The Dizzying Heights Of Genius

I don’t often swoon in public, but the Morgan Library’s current exhibition “Marks of Genius: Treasures from the Bodleian Library” left me breathless.  It was dizzying, standing before 57 magnificent artifacts representing 2,000 years of intellectual and artistic accomplishment, from cultures, countries and religious traditions that ranged from around the world in place and time.  And among them are several of particular Jewish interest.

The Kennicott Bible, Corunna, Spain, 1476; The Bodleian Library, Oxford. Courtesy of The Morgan Library & Museum

Taxpayers Should Sue Congress

Right now Speaker John Boehner's plans to sue President Obama for not enforcing the laws as the Republican leader thinks he should is a political ploy he may hope will serve to derail pressure in his caucus for impeachment, but it is one that can easily escalate because the inmates are running the asylum.

Post Bar Mitzvah, Communal Role Grows For Boy With Disability

So, Jewish life after Bar Mitzvah… It is hard to believe that there is life after Bar Mitzvah!  Since our son Avi was diagnosed with autism as a toddler, we have been very goal-driven.  What did he need to achieve his goals?  How can we maximize his potential?  What will his role be in the Jewish community, if any?  Until quite recently, this was very much a blur.  Some days the answers seemed clear; other days, we had no idea.  

As I wrote in a blog a few months back, Avi’s Bar Mitzvah was more than we could have ever imagined. 

Avi puts on tefillin with his father. Courtesy of Michelle Steinhart

Fragile X Awareness: A Parent Speaks Out

In our world of parenting a child with special needs, all you have to do is say “Holland” and everyone knows you are dealing with challenging days and lost dreams. As Emily Perl Kingsley expressed in her famous poem, having a child with special needs is like planning a trip to Italy only to land in Holland. There is a new language, new places to visit and new people to meet. Everything is different, but that does not mean it’s bad.

It has taken me a long time to be able to write that — and truly mean it. And while it is still painful to realize we are in "Holland," having a 3-year-old son with Fragile X Syndrome has inspired me to be a better mother and to become an advocate for his needs and the needs of other children and adults with this genetic disorder.

Other People’s Memories

How do you transcribe memories that aren’t your own and pain you never felt?  These are the subjects that Miriam Mörsel Nathan addresses in her moving and elegiac works, ”I First Saw the World Through a Mosquito Net…,” now on exhibit at the Bohemian Benevolent and Literary Association.

© 2009 Miriam Mörsel Nathan, “Prague 1941” Gum Transfer, 30” x 44”

One Year Later: It's All About Lucy

Just over a year ago I wrote on this blog about my daughter, Lucy, who was leaving our local Jewish community day school after first grade. I have been planning this “one year later” blog post for quite some time – and yet, when I go to put pen to paper, I don’t know where to begin.

So I’ll start with this: Lucy is doing great. She adjusted quickly and easily to public school. She is happy and confident and more than a few adults who know her have commented that “she is a different kid”. 

Meredith Polsky

Indyk Quits, Bibi Delighted

Secretary of State John Kerry may be disappointed to see his Mideast peace envoy, Martin Indyk, leaving, but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is delighted.

More Than A Kidnapping

When is a kidnapping more than a kidnapping?  When politicians and others exploit a tragedy to further their agendas. It can also be an opportunity to repair damaged relations between Israeli and Palestinian leaders.

All of Israel wants to see the three teenagers-- --Gilad Shaer, Eyal Yifrah and Naftali Fraenkel --  kidnapped near Hebron two weeks ago returned safely to their families, and the government and security forces are devoting enormous energy to that task.

Israeli "Make-A-Thon" Generates Products For People With Disabilities

Some 70 talented innovators in their 20s and 30s from around the world ran a very different kind of marathon in Israel, as they competed to invent prototypes of tools for people with disabilities using cutting-edge digital and 3D-printing technology.

Working on a new product. Courtesy of Shusterman Connection Points

Dr. Wendy Ross: CNN Hero Helping With Autism Inclusion

Dr. Wendy Ross, a developmental pediatrician in Philadelphia, founder of the nonprofit Autism Inclusion Resources (AIR) has recently been named a "CNN Hero."

As a doctor who regularly diagnosed children who have autism, Ross was heartbroken to hear stories of social isolation from the families whose children she was treating. Because many children with autism become overstimulated in loud, crowded or new environments, parents often opt to keep the family home rather than experience fun family outings, like going to a ball game. But Dr. Ross knew that isolation didn't serve her patients with autism well in the long run.

Dr. Wendy Ross
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