What does a Rapper have to do with Jewish Disabilities?

By Rob Eshman
In Original Articles

Dream Big Y’All – by Rob Eshman
This article originally appeared on JewishJournal.com

In synagogue last Friday night, just after her sermon, the rabbi announced she had invited a special guest in honor of Jewish Disabilities Month.

The woman next to me leaned over and whispered. “What’s Jewish Disabilities Month?”

“That’s for Jews who get B’s in school,” I said.

Kidding, of course.

But in a culture that prides itself on education and achievement, there is a tendency to overlook those children, men and women who may never fit into the straight-A, Ivy League, graduate school and away-we-go model. Our norm is pretty exceptional.

One of the most moving stories I’ve reported for The Journal was on Dr. Michael Held, who in 1993 founded an organization called Etta Israel to make sure every Jewish child, regardless of his or her abilities, received a Jewish education. Held told me stories of families who kept their Down syndrome children locked in the house rather than allow the community to see them. (Read more…)