Like all human beings my unique personal identity is composed of many facets. I am a woman. I am a mother. I am a daughter and a wife, a Democrat, a citizen of the United States, a writer and a former attorney. I am also an autistic Jew. I am proud to be all of the above. I like who I am. There are times, though, when much to my sadness, it is not easy to be both autistic and Jewish. While my religion places great value on empathy and inclusiveness, not all those who practice it do. While my people have risked their lives to stand in solidarity with others who have been disenfranchised, there have been times when we have neglected to stand in support of one another.
Submitted by Douglas Bloomfield on Wed, 04/02/2014 - 17:23
Israeli government's reluctance to release the last 26 Palestinian prisoners in a four-installment deal to revive peace talks because it felt Mahmoud Abbas would leave the negotiations anyway appears to be justified.
Abbas even refused to meet with Secretary of State John Kerry to discuss Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's offer to release the 26 terrorists along with several hundred other prisoners and impose a partial West Bank construction freeze in return for extending the present talks until early next year.
“Other Primary Structures” at The Jewish Museum can be seen as a nod to the institution’s past. The museum staged a major exhibit of minimalist sculpture called “Primary Structures: Younger American and British Sculptors” in 1966.
Editor's Note: These wonderful suggestions take the reader through steps of the Passover seder.
Passover is an ideal holiday to explore multi-sensory ideas for reaching every type of learner at your seder through activities that engage particpiants not only through visual and auditory information, but also through touch, taste, and smell. Whether your goal is to keep everyone’s attention, or help individuals understand the story, or encourage participation from every guest, below are ten of our favorite ways to keep the seder interesting, active and fun!
April begins Autism Awareness Month. Here at The New Normal, we promise to bring you a variety of voices speaking about the experience of living with autism, and how we as a Jewish community can best support people who have autism across the lifespan. That means creating inclusive early education centers, meaningful workplaces and housing communities and more. Our bloggers will be sharing perspectives about how our community can provide effective formal and informal education and also make our synagogues and other communal places more inclusive of people on the spectrum and their families.
The proverb “The perfect should not be the enemy of the good,” means that insisting on perfection often results in no improvement at all. In keeping with the wisdom of this sentiment, I think the time has come to begin the discussion of what does inclusion of people with disabilities really mean? And should we as a community allow for sub-optimal solutions? Recently I was faced with two separate situations that echoed these questions for me.
Submitted by Douglas Bloomfield on Mon, 03/31/2014 - 17:58
We're seeing a number of stories out of Israel lately saying convicted spy Jonathan Pollard might be freed as part of a deal to get Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to honor his commitment to release the final group of 26 Palestinian prisoners (out of 104) and to keep peace talks with the Palestinians going until the end of the year.
Submitted by Douglas Bloomfield on Sun, 03/30/2014 - 23:19
Political pandering was in full blossom in Las Vegas last weekend as Republican presidential wannabes sought to impress GOP megadonor Sheldon Adelson and his fellow big givers of their total devotion to Israel and just about anything else these wealthy contributors want.
Young Families, Singles Flocking to Upper East Side; ‘The Memory Is In Their Taste Buds’: The Lure of Sephardic Food; Safra Synagogue Rabbi’s Growing Empire; Sephardic And Egalitarian at B’nai Jeshurun; Giving Voice to Sephardic Music.