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Meet Our Bloggers

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Rafi Josselson is an autistic sophomore at the Leffell School in Westchester County. Rafi has spoken at multiple places across the Northeast including; Camp Ramah in Nyack, Temple Israel Center and, the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School. He also has written blogs for MATAN and for his own website ( Rafi hopes to spread a message of Empathy, Inclusion, Awareness and, Acceptance through his work. Outside of Autism Advocacy; Rafi is an active member of his shul’s USY Chapter, a writer for his school’s newspaper and, an avid reader of both books and the news.

Traveling to Israel

This spring I traveled to Israel with my grade. I want to share with you my experience and what I learned about myself. My first trip to Israel was in 2016 with my grandfather, cousin, and a [...]


Following an incident in school, Rafi (age 15) posted his thoughts on Facebook. Rafi has granted permission to Matan to reprint this post. I’d like to talk about something I have noticed when it [...]

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Stephanie Kallish is from the suburbs of Chicago. She went to Highland Park High School and grew up at North Suburban Synagogue Beth El. She is now a first-year at Brandeis University and is studying Near Eastern and Judaic Studies and Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies. She serves on the International Board of USY, and is involved in Jewish Mental Health Advocacy, Israel Education and general Jewish life. In her free time, Stephanie enjoys reading, biking, Jewish learning, and drinking coffee.

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Noah Brick is a 15 year old high school sophomore from White Plains, New York. He has Tourette Syndrome and a few other co-occurring conditions such as ADHD, dysgraphia and anxiety. He is a youth ambassador for the Tourette Association of America. In his free time, he enjoys acting, watching “F.R.I.E.N.D.S.“ and playing Dungeons & Dragons.

Making True Friends

Making friends can be hard, especially when you are different either mentally or physically. I am lucky to have had the same two best friends since I was in kindergarten. Most peoples’ [...]

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