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January 17, 1992 - Image 37

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1992-01-17

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

COMMUNITY

Agency Assists New Parents
Of Special Needs Children

ELIZABETH APPLEBAUM

Assistant Editor

M

any new parents are
befuddled when,
toting a bouquet of
flowers and calling, "mazel
tov," Dr. Eliezer Goldstock
arrives at their door.
The confusion comes not
only because nobody in the
home knows Dr. Goldstock.
The parents he visits have
just given birth to disabled
children, and few have
celebrating on their minds.
Chairman of Heart to

Eliezer Goldstock: "Without fear,
you can do anything."

Heart: The Jewish Academy
for Distinguished Children,
Dr. Goldstock believes chil-
dren with special needs have
something vital to offer their
families: the chance "to
come out of ourselves," he
said.
Dr. Goldstock, of Monsey,
N.Y., visited Detroit last
week, where he is estab-
lishing a network to support
new parents of disabled chil-
dren. His goal is to rid
parents of their fear in deal-
ing with such children and
to convince them that their
Jewish children belong in
Jewish homes.
"Three thousand Jewish
babies (with special needs)
are given away each year to
non-Jewish parents," he
said. "I'm not going to judge
anyone. But let me come to
you and at least try to help
you out."
Dr. Goldstock established
the Jewish Academy last
year after his fifth child,
Sara Mushka, was born with
Down's syndrome.
"Don't become attached to
her," the pediatrician warn-

ed. "Down's syndrome chil-
dren always die young."
A psychologist in private
practice, Dr. Goldstock
refused to accept the
pediatrician's advice. In-
stead, he began searching
for a relationship with his
child to parallel man's bond
with God.
"What do we ask from
God?" he said. "We ask
understanding, mercy and
compassion. So, too, this is
what a child seeks from his
mother — all the more so
with distinguished chil-
dren."
Dr. Goldstock began to
consider, "What is the
neshorna (soul) of a special
child?"
His answer came when he
was attending a fund-raising
event. A man pointed to a
certain guest and asked Dr.
Goldstock, "Do you know
what he's worth?"
"Yes," Dr. Goldstock re-
sponded. "He's worth exact-
ly what my daughter is wor-
th."
"She's like a tzaddik (righ-
teous person) because she's
here not for herself but for
others," he said. "She
doesn't need to fix herself
up; she's here to make sure
others fix themselves up."
"It hasn't been easy," he
said of raising his own
Down's syndrome daughter.
But Sara Mushka, now 15
months old, is the family's
treasure, nonetheless. Dr.
Goldstock recalls the pride
with which his eldest son in-

"I've seen children
in wards. They
know they've been
abandoned. They
feel totally lost in
the world. To me,
that's an
obscenity."

Eliezer Goldstock

troduced the girl to a group
of his friends at camp.
"She really has something
to contribute," he said.
"She's drawn us all closer
together."
Now, Dr. Goldstock hopes
to teach this approach to
new parents of children with
special needs. He begins by
.bringing them flowers after
their baby is born.
"Sometimes they're inter-
ested," he said. "Other
times, they throw me out. So
I leave my card behind;

often, they'll call me later."
His first responsibility is
to discuss causes of the ail-
ment and what expectations
parents can have of the
child.
"When you're armed with
information, it dispels all
the myths," Dr. Goldstock
said. "Without fear, you can
do anything."
Arming the parents with
information often means ex-
plaining that the majority of
developmental syndromes
are the result of problems
during the birth or of
chromosomal damage, he
said.
Information also can mean
answering the parent who
insists his special needs
child is a punishment from
God or some kind of genetic
misfit.
"Man was created in the
image of God," he said. "God
doesn't make mistakes."
If parents are not inter-
ested in keeping their child,
Dr. Goldstock will help
direct them to an agency
that can place the child in a
Jewish home.
"We are the tribe of Israel;
we should at least take care
of our own," he said. "I've
seen children in wards. They
know they've been abandon-
ed. They feel totally lost in
the world. To me, that's an
obscenity."
Based in Monsey, Heart to
Heart: The Jewish Academy
for Distinguished Children
also has branches in New
York and Los Angeles. Its
name comes from a Torah
passage which states that
just as one's face is mirrored
in the water, so a man's
heart is reflected in another
man's heart.
"In the mirror, you can see
yourself even at a distance,"
Dr. Goldstock explained.
"But to see yourself in the
water, you have to come very
close. That's the essence of
our organization."
Funded by donations, the
Jewish Academy has two
new projects. The first is
raising funds to purchase
equipment, such as walkers
and wheelchairs, which will
be lent at no charge to chil-
dren with:special needs.
The second is to be able to
inform any Jew with a
disabled child in the United
States about services
available in his area.
For information, contact
Dr. Goldstock at the Jewish
Academy, 22 Rita Ave.,
Monsey, N.Y. 10952, or call
(914) 356-6204.



B'nai B'rith Michigan Regional Council and the Men's Club of Adat
Shalom Synagogue hosted a New Year's Eve Ball. Guests were
treated to dinner and musical entertainment. The committee was
comprised of John Rofel, Marsha Rofel, Jeanette Olson, Jerome
Olson, Esther Olson and Harvey Olson.

U.S., Israel Relations
Are Topic Of Program

"The Status of the U.S./
Israel Relationship" will be
the topic of the first event in
the four-part Jewish Federa-
tion Young Adult Division
Political Awareness Series,
7:30 p.m. Jan. 21 at Adat
Shalom Synagogue.
The program will feature
Edward Levy Jr., chairman of
the board and immediate past
president of the American
Israel Public Affairs Commit-
tee (AIPAC), the only
American organization
registered to lobby Congress
in support of legislation affec-
ting the U.S./Israel relation-

ship. A board member of the
Jewish Federation, Mr. Levy
is treasurer of the Michigan
Cancer Foundation, and an
executive committee member
of the Detroit Round Table of
the National Conference of
Christians and Jews and
Children's Hospital of
Michigan.

There is a charge for each
session or a discounted fee for
all four. The series will con-
tinue with programs on Feb.
26, March 26 and April 27.
For information, call Rick
_Krosnick, 642-4260, ext. 249.

Sinai Hospital Sets
New Visiting Hours

Sinai Hospital has new
general visiting hours which
will emphasize Sinai's com-
mitment to optimal patient
care with consideration given
to visitors' schedules.
The new general visiting
hours will be 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
Perinatal visiting hours for
spouses are 24 hours a day.
Perinatal visiting for grand-
parents and siblings is the
same as general visiting
hours.
Neonatal Intensive Care
Union (NICU) visiting for
parents is 24 hours a day and
sibling visitation is by prior
arrangement of nursing
personnel.
Intensive Care Unit (ICU)
visiting hours are 10 minutes
every two hours from 8:30
a.m.-8:30 p.m. Visitation in
the Psychiatric Unit is
Wednesdays and Fridays,
6:30-8 p.m. and Saturday,

Sunday and holidays, 1-3 p.m.
All visitors must obtain
identification badges from the
information desks in the
Outer Drive or Fisher Lob-
bies. Passes must be returned
to the desks upon departure.

JFS Offers
Coping Groups

Jewish Family Service will
begin a group for recently
unemployed conducted by
Marilyn Hertzberg.
Ibpics to be discussed will
include dealing with the feel-
ings of an unexpected job loss.
The ongoing weekly group
sessions will begin 9
a.m.-10:30 a.m. Feb. 5 at
Jewish-Family Service, 24123
Greenfield Road, Southfield.
For additional information
and registration, call Marilyn
Hertzberg, 559-1500. There is
a fee.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

37

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