Jewish Schools Snubbing Special Needs Students, Parents Say
Just as some faiths are making inroads to include children with special needs, a group of New York families say Jewish schools and synagogues are pushing their children away.
The issue came to the forefront recently when parents Gavin and Jodi Samuels spoke out about their efforts to gain admission for their 2-year-old daughter with Down syndrome to the same private Jewish school in Manhattan that their two other children attend.
School officials told the family they believed the girl would be better off elsewhere and declined to evaluate her for admission. What’s more several families at the school reportedly banded together to prevent the Samuels’ daughter from being admitted.
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Other families say the Samuels’ experience is not unique in Manhattan, though there are Jewish schools for children with disabilities in other parts of New York City. Even one rabbi’s wife who said her two children with Asperger’s syndrome attend a secular school indicated that Jewish schools and synagogues are often too reluctant to accept and embrace children with disabilities, reports The Jewish Chronicle. To read more click here.