Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options


Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

The University of Michigan Library provides access to these materials for educational and research purposes. These materials may be under copyright. If you decide to use any of these materials, you are responsible for making your own legal assessment and securing any necessary permission. If you have questions about the collection, please contact the Bentley Historical Library at bentley.ref@umich.edu

June 03, 1994 - Image 15

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1994-06-03

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

Needs Re-toga ed As


Offering needed

support to



children and

their families.

ike most 7-year-olds, Molly Gri-
er has been known to exhaust her
mother, Ronelle.
But Molly isn't exactly like
most 7-year-olds;And without
her presence in this world, one
organization might not exist in
Molly has undiagnosed de-
velopmental disabilities. Doc-
tors do not have a name for
Molly's motor impair-
ments and lack of agili-
ty. They don't know
her potential, either.
"Sometimes she's like 'the
rain man,' " Ms. Grier said.
"There's these things Molly
can't do. But then she has this
photographic memory. It
amazes me."
When Molly was younger,
Ms. Grier often found it frus-
trating to be around "nor-
mar parents and children.
She felt isolated, that no one
understood her problems.
For the most part, no one
Ms. Grier joined a sup-
port group for parents of
children with special
needs but felt a bit like "a
fish out of water when
they had Christmas par-
ties and scheduled meetings on
Rosh Hashanah."
Molly Grier: Impetus for Keshet's Detroit formation.
While reading Exceptional
Parent magazine, Ms: Grier came
across an ad for Keshet (Hebrew part-time paid staff position, an cation recently formed a task
for rainbow), a Chicago-based or- office in Southfield and the stat- force to study needs of the popu-
ganization for Jewish families ed goals of information, advoca- lation.
Programming continues on the
with special needs. She called the cy and support for all Jewish
of a facilitated support
number listed only to discover De-
Ms. Grier was the first paid group, monthly speakers and a
troit had no chapter. The execu-
tive director offered to help Ms. staffer — executive director. She
turned the reins over to Sharon
Grier get started.
"If rd have known what it in- Levine in December 1993.
volved, I don't know if I'd have • Keshet's first fund-raiser, an
done it," Ms. Grier said, half-jok- evening at Mark Ridley's Come-
dy Castle in Royal Oak June 8,
With help from the Jewish In- honors Ms. Grier's efforts. To
formation Service, Jewish Fed- date, Keshet's budget has come
eration and the Agency for almost exclusively from a Max M.
— Ronelle Grier
Jewish Education, Ms. Grier held Fisher Foundation Grant.
Among Ms. Levine's challenges
the first Keshet meeting in 1990.
are increasing Keshet's visibil-
About 50 parents attended.
"I was so surprised. There were ity in the community and find- newsletter that reports on pend-
other people like myself. And ing additional sources of fund- ing legislation that might affect
there was a need," Ms. Grier said. ing. Federation has assured families with special needs.
Upcoming topics for program-
Keshet has grown to a mem- Ms. Levine of its commitment
and discussion are Jewish
bership of about 100 families, a
17-member board of directors, a ty. The Agency for Jewish Edu- education alternatives, bar and

"A simple thing.

like a kid's
_ birthday can throw
y' oll off."


bat mitzvah issues, holidays, fam-
ilies, forming friendships and sex-
"We have families where the
child is normal in every way ex-
cept that he is in a wheelchair,
and we have families with chil-
dren who will always be in dia-
pers. And these issues affect them
all," Ms. Levine said.
For Ms. Grier, the support she
found through Keshet has been
"A simple thing like a kid's
birthday party can throw you
off. You see 5-year-olds all light
years ahead of where your child
is and it's devastating. I thought
I was the only one who felt
that way," Ms. Grier said. "Now
I have friends who I can call and
say, 'I just got back from a birth-
day party.' And they say, 'Say no
more.' ❑

Back to Top

© 2020 Regents of the University of Michigan