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  • Writer's pictureJodi Samuels

Real Inclusion

Last week I read an email from the head of a NY Jewish organization about inclusion in the Jewish Community. The irony for me was huge as this person had been instrumental in blocking my daughter’s attendance to a community day school.

The same day I attended a very big concert in Jerusalem for a popular singer. There was at least a bus load of developmentally disabled adults sitting near us. Many were acting “differently” Gavin and I were amazed to watch as nobody seemed to be phased or irritated. The highlight for me was when people started standing in the aisles to dance, seeing typical people dancing and interacting so naturally with the adults with special needs.

True inclusion is not writing a check to a non profit that makes the donor feel good – tick good deed done; true inclusion is not writing an email about inclusion; or bringing special needs people to a community for one Shabbat a year. True inclusion is when you open your schools, synagogues and organizations. It’s when you open your hearts and your homes.

My rallying cry – When G-d gives you a special needs child that’s G-d’s choice how you chose to treat that person is your choice.

Originally published: March 31, 2015


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