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Rafi Josselson is an autistic junior at the Leffell School in Westchester County. Rafi hopes to spread a message of Empathy, Inclusion, Awareness and, Acceptance through his work. He writes blogs for MATAN and for his own website (  Rafi also publicly speaks at schools, synagogues, and other organizations including; Camp Ramah in Nyack, Temple Israel Center, and, the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School. Outside of Autism Advocacy; Rafi is the copresident of his shul’s USY Chapter, an editor 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 sophomore at Brandeis University and is studying Near Eastern and Judaic Studies and Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies. She is involved in the Brandeis Orthodox Organization (BOO), serves as the vice president the Jewish Feminist Association at Brandeis (JFAB), and is passionate about mental health advocacy and Israel education. In her free time, Stephanie enjoys reading, biking, Jewish learning, and drinking coffee.

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Noah Brick is a 16 year old high school junior 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, carpentry/building furniture, 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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