Disability

Struggle over disability access at synagogue

By Robyn Rosen, August 12, 2010

Batya Wiles wants to go to shul. But unlike her Stamford Hill friends and family, hers is not a routine decision but an intense dilemma.

Ms Wiles has been in a wheelchair since 1986 and accessing synagogues which lack facilities for the disabled can be an intimidating and undignified affair.

During a recent visit to St John's Wood Synagogue, she says, "I wheeled through to the centre of the men's section where there was what looked like a wooden pen with no curtain. I was so embarrassed I wanted to leave, but I couldn't get out."

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New York schools shun special needs kids

By Paul Berger, August 5, 2010

Manhattan offers the Jewish parent everything: gleaming community centres, world-class Jewish day schools, and a synagogue on just about every corner. But when it comes to raising children with special needs, New York's glitziest borough is, apparently, lacking.

One recent Monday evening, about 150 people crowded into the basement of Congregation Shearith Israel, on Central Park West, to discuss "The Jewish Community's Obligation to Special Needs Children."

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New York schools shun special needs kids

By Paul Berger, August 5, 2010

Manhattan offers the Jewish parent everything: gleaming community centres, world-class Jewish day schools, and a synagogue on just about every corner. But when it comes to raising children with special needs, New York's glitziest borough is, apparently, lacking.

One recent Monday evening, about 150 people crowded into the basement of Congregation Shearith Israel, on Central Park West, to discuss "The Jewish Community's Obligation to Special Needs Children."

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Do the disabled get a raw deal in the Torah?

By Joseph Mintz, October 22, 2009

When I was 18, some 20 years ago, I worked for a summer doing Camp America in the Catskill Mountains of New York State. But this was a camp with a difference: it was run by an Orthodox Jewish organisation which catered for children with physical disabilities and learning difficulties (or “mental retardation” as it was referred to at the time).

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Alex Cowan jumps from 13,500ft to help fight multiple sclerosis

By Candice Krieger, May 30, 2008

She may struggle to walk, but that has not stopped West Londoner Alex Cowan from wanting to jump out of an aircraft. Ms Cowan suffers from the neurological condition multiple sclerosis (MS) and uses a wheelchair. On July 13, she plans to jump out of a plane flying at 13,500 ft, fall for 40 seconds, reach about 120 mph, and then float to the ground with the aid of a parachute.

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Disabled father begs his council for a better home

By Dana Gloger, May 9, 2008

A strictly Orthodox man who uses a wheelchair and cannot access the shower or kitchen of his flat has criticised his local council for not finding him a more suitable home.

Michael Freedman, 28, who lives in Edgware, Middlesex, has had to use a wheelchair since January last year, after he reacted to a pain-killing injection given to him during an operation for appendicitis.

It left him in severe and constant pain and unable to put any weight on his legs.

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A bomber left him paralysed for 2 years: this week he walked

By Candice Krieger, April 11, 2008

A young Israeli, paralysed from the chest down after a suicide bombing, has defied medical odds by regaining feeling in his toes following pioneering treatment at a London clinic.

Zion Shitrit, 23, was working at a market in the northern Israeli town of Hadera when a suicide bomber blasted the area, killing six.

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