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June 25, 1993 - Image 94

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1993-06-25

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

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focuses on not only how
developmentally disabled
people learn autonomy,
but also on how they
interact with the rest of
society.
Now midway through
production, the documen-
tary likely will include a
scene from Yad Vashem,
the Holocaust memorial,
where Mr. Feldman
recited the Kaddish in
rapid, clear Hebrew.
It will include scenes
of Ms. Schwartz dancing
the night away with
other Mission-aires. At
one point, the camera
focuses on Mr. Feldman
holding the hand of his
girlfriend.
Viewers will witness
Mr. Feldman on the job
at Ira Kaufman Chapel,
where he chants Hebrew
prayers and guards the
deceased. Mr. Folkoff has
a myriad of responsibili-
ties, including his work
as custodian at the
Agency for • Jewish
Education and as chief of
a speakers bureau for
handicapped citizens.
Ms. Victor and William
Harder, partners in the
enterprise, add another
dimension to the docu-
mentary by interviewing
members of the stars'
families.
"Many family members
tend to coddle people
with developmental dis-
abilities. Jacob's sister,
for example, talked
about things he is doing
that she never thought
he'd be able to do — bal-
ancing a checkbook,
laundry," Ms. Victor
said.
The producers hope to

complete the documen-
tary by next spring. The
project, funded by a
donation from the
Benard L. Maas
Foundation, has caught
the attention of WTVS-
TV in Detroit. The local
station sent a letter indi-
cating its interest in
broadcasting the docu-
mentary in the metropol-
itan area. The producers
also hope the national
Public Broadcasting
System (PBS) will air it
across the country.
Richard Thomas was
one of two JARC staff
members who accompa-
nied six JARC clients to
Israel. He said some of
the travelers were con-
cerned about remember-
ing everything they had
seen and accomplished
during the trip. He said
the Victor/Harder pro-
duction not only edu-
cates the community
about developmentally
disabled people, but also
preserves the experience
for JARC clients.
"The videos were keys
to opening memories of
the trip we shared," he

The travelers
were
concerned about
remembering
everything they
had seen and
accomplished
during the trip.

said after viewing seg-
ments of the documen-
tary during JARC's
Miracle Mission reunion.
"I also think a number of
people were impressed
with their own stamina.
It was a grueling, but
ego-building, trip."
The film's message:
Don't write off the devel-
opmentally disabled.
With understanding and
support, they can make
valuable contributions to
the world.
"People should look at
us as human beings, not
as disabilities," Mr.
Folkoff said. "All people
are handicapped in some
way. Nobody is perfect in
this world." 0

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