It should be easy to decide to send a child who is a candidate for the education it offers to Sinai Schools.

Developmental disabilities are a fact of biology, not morality. Children do not act in ways that differentiate them from most of their peers for fun, or out of laziness, wickedness, or lack of caring. Children with development disabilities are just children – in fact, they are our children. And when they grow to be adults, they are still part of our community, and of our world.

But there still is a stigma attached to many kinds of differences, including this one. Parents often are loathe to admit that their children need any kind of special education, even as their lack of special education makes their families’ lives a nightmare of chaos, anger, and resentment.

The Sinai Schools, founded by parents who refused to let their developmentally disabled children slip away from them through neglect or purposeful blindness, is an extraordinary institution. It not only educates its own students, paying them the sort of close attention that leads to the right and singular education for each one, it also allows them to stay in the outside world. It also lets the other students in the schools where Sinai houses its programs learn not to fear the developmentally disabled, or to shun then, but to accept them simply as other human beings, other schoolmates, other Jews.

We think that Sinai Schools is simply amazing, and we wish it every success. We hope that anyone in the community who can support it will consider doing so.

-JP