PHOTOS BY GL ENN TR IEST
PHIL JACOBS EDITOR
Dr. Barry and Lesley
Feldman look over the
service with the bat
0 one has to tell Lindsey Brooke Feldman
what stepping forward is all about.
The way her parents, Lesley and Dr. Bar-
ry Feldman tell it, their young daughter had
sat in time and time again while her dad and
brother Dust studied for their December 1993
co-bar mitzvah. There were times, Dr. Feld-
man said, that Lindsey would finish lines of
Hebrew they might have forgotten.
"Then one day, she just looked at Lesley
and me and said, When's mine?'
"Lesley and I looked at each other. She's
as Jewish as we are. We were sure that in
some way she could have a bat mitzvah as
well. But what was more important, she was
Lindsey is a student in a self-contained spe-
cial-needs classroom. Her "challenge" is that
she is developmentally disabled. Her fami-
ly's challenge is keeping up with her de-
manding fascination with life that is so wise
that it belies any sort of label society may use.
On a sunny Sunday morning, Lindsey, 13,
walks through her West Bloomfield home with
a Bible in her hand. The house is decorated
for a brunch in her honor. She soaks in the
sunshine. She absolutely knows that the at-
tention is for her. This is a special time.
"I got to know her at first at Barry and
Dustin's bar mitzvah," said Adat Shalom Can-
tor Howard Glantz. "She'd come for their
lessons. When she asked to have a bat mitz-
vah, I told the Feldmans that I'd like to have
a shot at teaching her."
The teaching lasted six months. Cantor
Glantz, along with tutor Alan Lowen, helped
Lindsey stay focused as she pieced together
the Friday night service. On her bat mitz-
vah on Shabbat night, she actually led the con-
gregation in services.
"She was crying during part of it, because
she was so happy," said Cantor Glantz. "She
had a lot to do. But she was in command of
the prayers and she was a leader when it came
to the singing involved."
Cantor Glantz said he learned from Lind-
sey about flexibility and patience, especially
when it came to learning the more difficult
parts of the service.
But learning is something that Lindsey does
that impresses her teachers, even out of the
religious school realm and into public school.
"Miss Lindsey has always been special to
me," said Lone Pine Elementary School
teacher Laurie Nosanchuk. "She came to me
five years ago. My first thought was: What
am I going to do with this child?' But she's al-
ways been responsive and she's really blos-
somed. She wanted to read more than
anything else. She would practice tirelessly.