As we continue to celebrate Jewish Disability Awareness Month (JDAM), this special time offers me the opportunity to share with you one of the most gratifying parts of my job: hearing from parents about the many ways – each one as individual as our students – Gateways is changing their children, enriching their families and inspiring their Jewish journeys.
Shabbat is one of my favorite examples of this transformation. Even though Shabbat doesn’t feel as special as such heavy-hitting Jewish holidays as Rosh Hashana, Yom Kipper and Passover, numerous commentators over the centuries have argued that this holiday that comes each and every week is actually the holiest – and most important — of them all.
Here at Gateways we can see why. It’s the Shabbat tunes our students hum in the car on their way home, the Shabbat stories they ask to have repeated over and over. Most of all, it’s the Shabbat table where so many lessons learned in class come to life (Read three moving stories from Gateways families in last week’s post).
Each time one of our students sings out loud and proud the blessing over the challah, the candles or the wine (or, more likely, the grape juice), each time she proudly pulls off the challah cover at just the right moment, it’s a victory for all of us – and all of you who make Gateways possible with your support,
I hope you enjoy our new, updated website and the Shabbat resources we’ve provided for you to download and print out to use at your Shabbat table or in your classroom. The wonderful thing is how helpful – and fun – these activities can be for our children, regardless of their learning style.
Stay tuned … for more news, stories and resources from the “Gates” throughout February in honor of JDAM.
Arlene Remz, Executive Director
Gateways: Access to Jewish Education