Jews With Special Needs Prepare for a Rite of Passage

JTS alumni Dori Kirshner, executive director of Matan, and Rabbi Howard Buechler of Dix Hills Jewish Center are featured in a New York Times article on Jews with special needs who are preparing to become b’nai mitzvah.

Kushner told the Times that historically a bar or bat mitzvah was not an option for a person with a disability:

“Judaism takes scholarship and mastery of material and intellectual pursuit of knowledge very seriously,” Ms. Kirshner said. ‘What that meant was that people who learn differently or had different abilities were not necessarily included.'”

Rabbi Buechler discussed a b’nai mitzvah program at Dix Hills Jewish Center for people with special needs: 

“‘Their bar and bat mitzvah is showing that God’s love and the portals of our synagogue and every synagogue are open to everyone,’ Rabbi Buechler said. ‘When the bar and bat mitzvah ends, their Jewish life is just beginning.'”

Continue reading “Jews With Special Needs Prepare for a Rite of Passage” in New York Times