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The Book of Doctorow

E.L Doctorow was often described as a writer of historical fiction, but he disliked that term and preferred to say that he was “an American novelist writing about my country.”

E.L. Doctorow. Courtesy Random House

22 Questions

There are valid arguments to be made both for and against the Iran nuclear agreement, but it is sometimes hard to tell because the debate is too often being drowned out by an excess of political obfuscation.

25th Anniversary Of The Americans With Disabilities Act, Jews & Disability Rights

It’s the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Jews played a major role in this landmark civil rights legislation for people with disabilities. However, their story remains largely untold. All of these Jews have been and continue to be heroes to the civil rights of people with disabilities in our nation. While they don’t have the title of “Rabbi,” each of them is a model of Jewish values in action. A new book, Enabling Acts, details the complete ADA history, which includes people from a variety of backgrounds.

Bobby and Lynne Silverman were honored at the White House. Courtesy of Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi

Marking 25 Years Of The Americans With Disabilities Act: Access to Religious Institutions Is The Last Frontier

Editor's Note: Over the next week, we will sharing a number of different voices reflecting on the 25th anniversary of the ADA. Be sure to follow and share!

Jubilation was in the air on July 26th 1990 when President George Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). “And today, America welcomes into the mainstream of life all of our fellow citizens with disabilities. We embrace you for your abilities and for your disabilities, for our similarities and indeed for our differences, for your past courage and your future dreams,” President Bush asserted.

At last we were recognized as a part of the fabric of American society, history, and potential. 

Inside Israeli’s Sapir Prize

Nudging aside Rabbi Shlomo Riskin and the shenanigans of the Israeli Chief Rabbinate in the news of the day in late May was the tarorom over the awarding of Israel’s Sapir Prize—Israel’s premier literary award — to Israeli author Reuven Namdar for his stunning novel “The House That Was Destroyed,” which chronicles a year in the life of a New York academic. 

Namdar

Bar Mitzvahs, Weddings, Birthday Parties Can Still Be Fun With Hearing Loss

Most people who are hard or hearing or deaf do well in conversation with one or two people in a quiet room. They wear hearing aids to amplify sound waves coming into the ear; or they use cochlear implants, which bring sound directly into the hearing center in the brain. At celebrations, where there are more people, music, shuffling chairs and clinking tableware, much of the conversation is lost. By the time they locate the sound, turn their head to read the lips or otherwise catch what one person said, a person with hearing loss misses what the second or third individual has said. While communication is fine in the first setting, the communication breakdown in the second setting can be confusing. Family members and the person with hearing loss themselves may not realize what is happening or know how to restore the social bond.

Schumer: Canary In The Coalmine

Benjamin Netanyahu declared war on the Iran nuclear agreement and launched a major lobbying campaign to bury the hated deal crafted by his nemesis, Barack Obama. 

The Prime Minister will be meeting every American politician who comes to Israel during the August congressional recess and working the phones with the rest of them.  He's not only mobilized his government but his political allies, particularly the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

A Kaleidoscope Of Jewish Identity

Cuban, Moroccan, Turkish, Libyan, Israeli, Puerto Rican, British and American influences swirl through the very Jewish stories presented in Vanessa Hidary’s “Kaleidoscope” at the 14th St Y.

Ahuva in “Kaleidoscope.” Jonathan Pillot

Beyond The “Triple Crown” — A Prize For Which We All Can Compete

Competition and the possibility of victory can awaken the American “can-do” spirit in us all. We rightly support initiatives for people with disabilities to compete in athletic events.  Everyone should have the opportunity to strive (and even struggle) to achieve his or her “personal best.”

The Sports Dilemma

The parents of some children with disabilities face a dilemma every summer. If they send their children an integrated camp, the children may actually be segregated when it comes to the portion of each day devoted to athletic activity. 

Rabbi Michael Levy

California's New Vaccine Law and Jewish Tradition

Lately it seems like I get most of my news from scrolling my Facebook newsfeed. Recently I came across an article about California’s Governor signing a law mandating that children be vaccinated before starting school.

The SB 277 law states that as of January 2016, children entering kindergarten or 7th grade must be vaccinated. If the child does not have his or her shots before the 2016-2017 school year, then he or she will not be allowed to enter any public or private school.

Dr. Frances Victory
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