Written by Jodi Samuels, this post originally appeared on MetroImma – an online community for Jewish moms.
Last week I attended the Matan Educators conference. Matan’s mission is to ensure that every Jewish student has access to a meaningful Jewish education and that one’s special needs never become a barrier to full participation in Jewish life.
The opening key note speaker was 19 year old Jacob Artson. Jacob is autistic and non verbal. He had typed his speech which his mom read to the audience. I have included a link to the speech here –https://matankids.org/2012/03/13/jacob-artsons-keynote-address-m…. Everyone should not only read the speech but take his words to heart.
Jacob referenced Martin Luther King’s I have a dream speech. King dreamt of equality, dignity. His dream was that the US would capture the spirit of the founding principals and recognise that each person is made in the image of G-d.
Sadly Jacob noted that the Jewish community is living in the 60’s by choosing segregation by excluding special needs people. This profound message of a 19 year old was on my mind all week. Then I was confronted with my reminder just how much change still needs to come. (Read more…)