Let’s Not Make People Afraid to Open Their Mouths

Special needs. Developmental delay. Cognitive disabilities. Disabled. Learning disabilities. Retarded. Autistic. Mentally challenged. Slow. Special. Blessed. Pure of soul. Language is power. From the first words we form as toddlers, making our needs and wants known, to the daily information we share online, from 140 characters on Twitter and beyond, language has meaning and weight.…

Disabilities Inclusion in Israel: We Can Learn from LA

Flying into Los Angeles I am filled with envy. I am meeting with Jewish community leaders involved in disabilities issues and I am keenly aware of the work that is ongoing in this area. From the activities surrounding Inclusion Awareness Month, the Federation’s excellent blog, The Better Together Inclusion Conference and the Mission to Israel which focused…

More must be done for kids with disabilities

February is Jewish Disabilities Awareness Month, a time when Jews around the world come together publicly to raise awareness and support for people with disabilities and their families. In Israel as well as worldwide, families and children are isolated and marginalized by disability; in their synagogues, schools, neighborhoods and workplaces. Fear, inadequate education, as well…

Where’s the money for people with disabilities?

The original Op-ed appeared on March 27th, 2013 at 18:33  in the “Israel Opinion” section of Ynetnews.com. By Beth Steinberg, Miriam Avraham. JTA editor’s pick on March 29th. Translated into Hebrew on Haaretz. Ministers must show they believe in the right of people with disabilities to excellent services, dignified lives Listen up, Bibi, Yair, Shai, and Naftali.…

Sometimes It’s Not Forever

In honor and memory of Liel Naomi Liben, z”l, 1997-2012. Every day when the bus pulled up, a foghorn emerged from the window. “Kachuga” it rang, annoying the neighbors and irritating my mother.  Partially fascinated and partially humiliated at such a hello, we rushed out the door – I was in junior high school, and…

Naked on the Subway

There’s been so much written since the shootings in Newtown, CT – it becomes hard to separate fact from hyperbole. The essence is clear, that is, we need to establish and enforce gun control laws in the US- we have needed to for a long time, and that the medical establishment needs to reevaluate how…