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April 17, 1981 - Image 44

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1981-04-17

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

° 44 Friday, April 11, 1981

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

UHS Special Ed. Class Achieves Milestone With First Bar Mitzva

On Sunday, April 5 —
Rosh Hodesh Nisan — there
was an unusual air of cele-
bration in the chapel at
Cong. Bnai David, as 13-
year-old Glen Ceifetz re-
cited the brahot (blessings)
for the Torah reading.

The group witnessed the
Bar Mitzva achievement of
a young man no one ex-
pected to reach this moment
because Glen is educably
mentally impaired.
The dedication of teacher
Arlene Wohl and her

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McDONALD'S

United Hebrew Schools col-
leagues, and the determina-
tion of Glen himself,
enabled him to become the
first Bar Mitzva coming out
of the UHS special educa-
tion Hebrew -program.
Glen, the son of Gilbert
and Carla Ceifetz of West-
land, attends public
school in Livonia. He was
placed in his United He-
brew Schools special
education class in
January 1980, a few
months after the pro-
gram first began.
The Hebrew
reading,
_
program was jointly de-
signed by Rochelle Millen,
UHS program consultant;
Bayla Landsman, a cer-
tified special education
teacher; and Ms. Wohl,
speech pathologist and head
teacher. Classes are con-
ducted Sundays at Cong.
Bnai David.
Youngsters who are emo-
tionally, visually and/or
physically impaired meet
9:30-11:30 a.m. and a sepa-
rate class, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., is
offered for kids with learn-
ing disability problems, like
Glen. The age range is 7-11
years in the first class and
8-13 in the second.
While both classes are in
session, between 11 and
11:30, music teacher Sonny
Lipenholtz leads the total
group of 15 students in sing-
ing songs and listening to
records with a Jewish con-
tent ("Uncle Moishy and
Mitzva Men" is a favorite
album). The music period
helps to reinforce the stories
and prayers being taught in
the classroom sessions. Also
involved in the program are
teacher aides Debbie
Groner, Deena Schramm

and Cheryl Lowenberg.
"Our goal 'is to make
the children feel as com-
fortable as possible in a
synagogue," said Mrs.
Millen. Her role is to
work with the parents,
obtain learning re-
sources for the teachers
and arrange occasional
field trips. A special
event for the youngsters
on April 12 was the
opportunity to partici-
pate in a model Seder at
Bnai David.
Ms. Wohl began prepar-
ing Glen for his Bar Mitzva
class session, Glen practiced
reading an English trans-
literation of the Hebrew
blessings for the Torah with
his teacher. At home, he lis-
tened to a tape recording of
the material made by Rabbi
Gerald Teller, superinten-
dent of the 'United Hebrew
Schools. Mrs. Ceifetz said
her son willingly practiced
his Bar Mitzva reading with
her or her husband every
day.
"Glen was very well
motivated," said Ms. Wohl.
"He wanted to do this (Bar
Mitzva reading) really
well."
As additional prepara-
tion, Glen has had the
opportunity to attend
Downtown Synagogue serv-
ices with his grandparents,
Mr. and Mrs. Louis Ceifetz
of Detroit.
Among those attending
Glen's Bar Mitzva were
his classmates in the spe-
cial education class.
Adam Bender is prepar-
ing to be the program's
second Bar Mitzva on
June 27.
Ms. Wohl said it was

possible that other students tinues his study of Judaism
in the program might be a in the special education
Bar or Bat Mitzva one day.
program.
Because each youngster
has a different level of im-
I'D WALK A
pairment, Ms. Wohl said ,
MILE
FOR A
she would adapt the Bar or
Bat Mitzva reading and her
teaching methods to suit the
individual if the ceremony
was desired. And Glen con-

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