Thanksgiving has emerged as a day of family togetherness and overeating. But, at its core, it’s an invitation to focus on those things that support and uplift our lives.
And a chance for parents of students in Gateways: Access to Jewish Education, Boston’s central address for Jewish educational programs for children with special needs, to weigh in on what they’re thankful for this year.
Alan Crane, Gateways Board President:
“I’m thankful for the incredibly broad base of support that the Boston community has provided to Gateways as exemplified by the hundreds of attendees at our annual Sweet Sounds event. Our community has truly embraced the fundamental Jewish value of helping those with special needs. I am also so incredibly thankful as both a board member and a parent for the amazing Gateways staff under the leadership of Arlene Remz — for each member of our staff, Gateways is far more than just a job, it is a passion.”
“Our son has always loved Jewish stories and activities. This year, we are thankful that he’s in the Gateways Sunday program, because unlike other programs, he does not have to drop back with the preschoolers or feel like he’s being pushed too hard with typical children his age, so we know that he’s really learning about Judaism and will be able to build upon his experiences and even learn Hebrew. He loves having his own teen volunteer, and we are comfortable knowing that his volunteer will take good care of him each Sunday.”
“I am grateful for Arlene Remz for her inspired leadership and vision; for Gateways program coordinators for their thoughtful program oversight; for Gateways specialists and staff for their skilled instruction, affectionate support, dedicated perseverance, and unfailing ability to recognize and build on a child’s strengths; and for all of the day school administrators and teachers who partner with Gateways to provide our children with a truly extraordinary Jewish education.”
Debbie and Hershel Ellenbogen:
“We’re thankful that our son has such wonderful, caring, dedicated teachers, support staff and therapists who work so well together to make sure that he can have the best possible educational experiences in the SHAS second grade.”
And these from some Gateways’ teen volunteers who are such an integral part of Gateways’ Jewish Education Program:
“I am thankful for my opportunity to volunteer at Gateways. I am very happy that I am able to enrich the lives of the children with Jewish values and lifelong skills.”
“I am thankful for a place to use my music to help people.”
“I am thankful for the opportunity for getting to see these amazing kids thrive and grow.”
“I’m thankful for the close community in my Gateways class – the kids look out for each other and the volunteers look out for each other too.”
And one of the teen volunteers says it for everyone here at Gateways this Thanksgiving:
“I am thankful for the fact that we live in such as warm Jewish community that allows education for everybody.”