Dori Frumin Kirshner

Posted on Dec 17, 2019

Executive Director, Matan, New York

Gershon Kekst Graduate School ’96

More than 60,000 Jewish children attend Jewish schools and camps that understand the needs of all types of learners, thanks to Matan, the “national voice in Jewish special education.”

Before Matan, many students with special needs lived on the periphery of Jewish education because Jewish institutions “did not have the staff training or resources to teach them,” says Executive Director Dori Frumin Kirshner. “Today, I am proud that parents no longer have to struggle alone to meet their children’s needs. Jewish education is a birthright for every child.”

Matan empowers leaders and teachers to create environments supportive of diverse learners. Since 2012, the organization has trained close to 5,000 educators, from rabbis and congregational school directors to early childhood educators, youth group leaders, Jewish camp professionals, and teachers. Participants come away with a toolbox of policies, language, and curricula, as well as the ability to effect change within their communities. Jennifer Stern (DS ’11), director of the congregational school at Park Avenue Synagogue in New York City, says Matan helped her reimagine every aspect of school life: from ensuring inclusive intake forms to creating classes and redefining student success. “Matan worked with us every step of the way to make sure we were meeting the needs of all our children.”

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