Posts Tagged ‘Downs Syndrome’

She Opened My Heart

August 23, 2017

pr wedding

The gentle, loving glance of a freshly-minted chasan to his kallah as they sit on their new couch together, sharing their innermost thoughts. A special moment made even more special by the newlyweds themselves – two young people born with Downs Syndrome.

 

Marriage? Impossible, the naysayers had said. How will she…? How can he…?

But with the right kind of assistance, it became possible and many have found the ultimate in fulfillment with several organizations in Israel holding their hand.

 

How many times did she cry to her mother, I want to marry and have a home like my sisters and brothers. How many times did he look longingly at couples who had a closeness found only in marriage. They both ached to achieve what seemed so out of reach until a phone call was made. And the impossible became not as impossible as their families had assumed.

 

Lets visit a bit and watch them on their first shopping trip together. Such joy. Such togetherness as they choose the appropriate items from the shelves. Home again. To their own home. Delight as they turn the key and unlock their front door.  They’re hungry and prepare supper. He slices the cucumbers. She slices the egg. The pot is washed clean. The counter sponged to perfection.

 

But marriage is not about clean counters, you question. Can they relate?

 

Watch. Watch as she pours the Kiddush wine for her new husband. Their joy is palpable. Watch as they laugh together over the wedding pictures, sharing their own private jokes.  “She worries about my health. She cares about me,” their devoted glance at each other says so much more than his words. He becomes sensitive to her needs and brings her the perfect present to make her happy. She speaks about her marriage and he cannot resist planting a tender kiss on her forehead. He captures the essence of their marriage with the fond words: She opened up my heart.

 

 

All parents dream of the day they will accompany their child to the chuppah and see him found a family of his own. But for many parents, bringing that dream to fruition can be a nightmare! When the young man or woman has a condition that casts a shadow on his or her matrimonial future, the path to the chuppah may be strewn, not with rose petals and confetti, but with tears and frustration.

A few years ago Ezer Mizion decided to take up the challenge of advancing matches between people with medical issues. Its tremendous success has led the division to undertake the next step: Special Marriages.

 

Many such marriages have already been made. The sensitive caring provided by several organizations in Eretz Yisroel have made them a remarkable success. These organizations care for the couple after marriage. They operate and supervise apartments for special needs and provide mentoring for the couples. While these organizations assist after the wedding, none of them deal with the matchmaking, from beginning to end of the process. Ezer Mizion’s Strike A Match Division has recently partnered with them in creating shidduchim between special people.

 

Penina Raziel directed a Special Ed school for many years and has recently retired. But full retirement was not for a capable, energetic person like Penina and she began looking for a volunteer opportunity that would dovetail with her experience.  She discovered the perfect ‘match’ in heading the Special Department of Ezer Mizion’s Strike A Match Division.

 

Under Mrs. Raziel’s direction, Ezer Mizion recently held two introductory events, in Jerusalem and Bnei Brak. The response was overwhelming.  Although the events were minimally advertised due to the high advertising cost, over 200  attended in Jerusalem and more than 250 in Bnei Brak, participants coming from all parts of the country.

 

We look forward to sharing many ‘mazel tov’s ‘ with you , our good friends, as the special kol sasson, kol simcha reverberates among the streets of Eretz Yisroel.

 

To share their joy:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2MP76Nax40

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_QaL2MJ16I

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MaOscSirXtc&spfreload=10

 

 

For further info: www.ezermizion.org    5225 New Utrecht Ave Bk NY 11219         718 853 8400

A Purim Happening

March 15, 2017

clownSpecial children are unique. Their abilities are unique. Their understanding is unique. Their needs are unique. Should that mean that they cannot participate in the joy of Purim, a day that is often termed ‘the children’s holiday’?  Is it possible to create a unique Purim atmosphere, geared especially for them?

A ‘Special’ Purim carnival?

 

The Ezer Mizion Special Carnival was a happening! Over 100 attended. The children were on a high. Their parents were riding right with them on cloud nine, ecstatic that these precious children were able to experience a Purim in a way that they never could have accomplished.

 

 

The carnival is in full swing. Come on in, dear reader, and lets take a peak. In every corner, there are volunteer clowns dancing with the children and creating that electric Purim atmosphere. There’s a live band that doesn’t allow anyone’s feet to remain still. Shmuly is getting a shoulder ride on one clown. Another one is letting Yossi “beep” his nose.

Dovi is wearing a mask that he just finished creating at the “Mask Booth”. Shuey is getting in line so he can make an even funnier one.

 

Wearing their new masks Shuey and Yitzy run to the Petting Zoo. Yitzy tries to put a mask on the rabbit but he doesn’t like it. His counselor helps him put the mask back on his own face and Yitzy settles down on the floor.  His face lights up as the counselor gently places a hamster on his lap. With one finger, he tentatively strokes the hamster’s soft fur. Shuey is holding a rabbit and softly singing Mi Shenichnas Adar to him. (On this glorious afternoon of miracles, we would not be surprised to hear the rabbit sing along.)

 

maskAt the far corner at the Balloon Booth, Avi and Nachy are watching in fascination as a red balloon suddenly becomes a horse and a blue one is transformed into an elephant. The counselor offers them the chance to create faces for them and the boys happily sit down to work on their masterpieces to take home to show Mommy and their siblings. It’s not often that they have something so special to bring home to their families.

 

Chaim races over to Avi, his best friend, and, with a flourish, hands him a package. “It’s Shalach monos,”he shouts in glee. “I made it myself!” He sure did! At the Purim Kitchen Booth where the children were able to make their own chocolate rum balls for shalach monos.  Everywhere you look, some little boys are handing brightly colored packages out to their friends. Others are clutching them tight, planning to give them to Mommy.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Wow! There’s Zalmy almost as high as the sky. He’s jumping on the blown-up castle with Levi. Soon they topple in a heap of arms and legs, romping in delight.

 

Who’s that? It looks like a short clown, only three feet high. Oh, it’s Moshie. Looks like he’s been to the Make-up Booth where the volunteers gave him a terrific clown face. There he is dancing with one of the grown-up clowns, in rapturous ecstasy.

 

Soon this heavenly day began winding down. Ezer Mizion certainly didn’t expect the children to be able to settle down for a quiet supper in their homes so supper was served a part of the fun. The day was ending but not before each child was taken to the Photography Booth where his picture was taken and placed in a magnet to bring home to his family. For his other hand, he received a decorated goody bag plus a helium balloon, souvenirs of, what was for many, their first real Purim Fun Day.

 

For one mother, at least, this day marked a major change.  Paralyzed by shame, she has been unable to accept her child. Her child attended Ezer Mizion’s Afternoon Club for Special Needs Children and the mother always insisted that our driver never  stop in front of the house so people should not see her child. On this special day, the child’s volunteer, who accompanies her home on the van each day, called the mother as they were driving down her block. “This is a must see! You won’t believe this! I can’t wait to show you how cute she looks! And she has become best friends with a clown. You won’t believe it!” The mother actually got excited, came down, for the first time in public! In full view of everyone in the neighborhood! She asked the driver to stop in front (!) and she made him wait, as the neighbors looked on, while she took pictures of her little girl with the clown This was a real milestone for that mother in helping her accept her child!!

 

Ezer Mizion provides services to over 660,000 of Israel’s population annually in addition to its Bone Marrow Registry which saves the lives of Jewish cancer patients the world over.

 

For further info: www.ezermizion.org    5225 New Utrecht Ave Bk NY 11219         819 853 8400