The gentle, loving glance of a freshly-minted chasan (groom) to his kallah (bride) 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 (Israel) 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 (matches) 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 (happiness and joy) reverberates among the streets of Eretz Yisroel (Israel) .
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