Another Tale Of Love And Darkness

Claire Hajaj is the daughter of a Jewish mother born in England and a Muslim father born in Jaffa.  In her first novel, “Ishmael’s Oranges" (Oneworld), she makes use of her uncommon background to convey the feelings of both Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs with nuance and understanding.

Courtesy Oneworld

In Honor of Father's Day: Tips For Dads Raising Kids With Autism

On June 21st, we honor the amazing fathers in our life: the men who work hard every day to support and care for their families. For fathers who are parenting children with autism, there is not a clear roadmap to follow. Here are some tips that can help support dads in their parenting journey:

Frances Victory

Teen Perspective: Don't Underestimate People With Disabilities

Editor's Note: As we recognize the 10 companies selected for the Ruderman "Best in Business' award, we are delighted to bring New Normal readers a teen perspective on employment and disability.

Actress Nikki Reed says, "What is important is to treat everyone like an individual and learning not to generalize disabilities.” She experiences autism first hand because her brother has autism. She strongly supports autism awareness and helping people understand that people with disabilities should be able to have a productive place in society.

Young adults with disabilities need jobs in today's workforce.

Jake Borenstein

Sara Levy’s World: Music, Gender, and Judaism in Enlightenment Berlin

An exceptional musical program last month at the Center for Jewish History under the auspices of the Leo Baeck Institute and the American Society for Jewish Music's Jewish Music Forum, was broadcast on the Classical Network, The program celebrated the legacy of Sara Levy (1761 – 1854 ), a philanthropist, saloniere, patron, musician and music collector. Every piece on the program, introduced by Christoph Wolff, was associated with her, and displayed the breadth and depth of her taste.

Shape Shifters

Three of the Democrats running for president in 2016 started their political lives as Republicans.  That says more about the GOP than it does about the candidates, writes Catherine Rampell in the Washington Post,

Premiering This Weekend: A Heschel Documentary On ABC-TV

If the child is the father of the man, what then is the young adult? In the case of theologian Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, his poetry in Yiddish – penned in his early 20s –- provides the first glimpse of his greatness.

Courtesy Diva Communications

36 Under 36: Tikvah Juni, Public Face Of Inclusion Advocacy

Editor's Note: At the "New Normal," we're excited that two of this year's "36 Under 36" winners work for more inclusion of people with disabilities. We're sharing one of the profiles today:

When Tikvah Juni was 16, she received her first standing ovation.

“I remember all the people, cheering and smiling,” said Juni, who had been the guest speaker at an event hosted by Yachad: The National Jewish Council for Disabilities.

“That was the first time I really believed the world could change,” she said. Since then, she’s been trying to change the world one speech at a time.

Juni, who has Down syndrome, travels around the U.S. teaching audiences about inclusion. In Washington, D.C., she even lobbied state and federal legislators to increase resources for special needs students.

Don't Misread SCOTUS Jerusalem Decision

Today's U.S. Supreme Court decision in Zivotofsky v. Kerry had little to do with Jerusalem and everything to do with separation of powers.  

At issue was the President's preeminence in foreign policy, not whether the United States considers Jerusalem Israel's capital but who makes that decision, the Congress or the executive.

Masorti Movement In Israel Speaks Out To President Rivlin

Yesterday, the Masorti Movement for Conservative Judaism in Israel sent a letter to Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin, signed by the leaders of every major Conservative Jewish organization, urging him to reconsider the cancellation of a bar and bat mitzvah ceremony for children with disabilities.

The mayor of Rehovot, Israel had cancelled the bar mitzvah last month because it was taking place in a Conservative, not Orthodox, synagogue. That move sparked outrage on social media from the progressive Jewish community in Israel and around the world. In response, representatives of the Masorti Movement for Conservative Judaism and officials from the Ministry of Diaspora Affairs worked on a compromise with members of the President of Israel's office. The parents and children were happy with the outcome and it seemed like the ceremony was set to take place.

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