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October 27, 2009

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October 27, 2009

We are so grateful that Matan exists! Our son has been attending the Matan Sunday School class at the Manhattan JCC for the past three years. We have three children, two of whom attend day school. Our son, diagnosed PDD, now 10, attends a special needs school that is secular. Without a program like Matan, he would have have little Jewish identity at all. We really cannot say enough about the quality of the people at Matan. The teachers and administrators have been so unbelievably caring about helping our son learn about Jewish holidays and observance and Hebrew. It is not easy to make a special needs boy look forward to Sunday School, but somehow at Matan the engaging teachers and their go-at-each-child’s-pace approach combine to make our son actually look forward to Sunday School! We are really grateful to Matan for bringing this important service to our son, as he is unable to participate in a mainstream Sunday School program. The lessons he is learning at Matan are making the difference in him identifying himself as a Jew and believing that he can participate fully in the Jewish community going forward. He has even spoke of having a Bar Mitzvah, something unimaginable a couple of years ago! We heartily recommend Matan to anybody seeking a Jewish education for their special needs child.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the Sunday School program at the Manhattan JCC. My son, diagnosed with PDD, has taken classes for three years. Both the teachers and the young volunteers are patient and serious about their work with the kids and do a good job of keeping them on track.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

seek day school teachers with special needs backgrounds. I also would have a set lesson plan schedule for the year with clearly measurable interim and final goals discussed with both the parent and child.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the tangible knowledge that my son comes home with. He has learned about holidays and bible stories.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Staff/volunteers are really amazing. Without exception, caring, competent and kind. Especially the coordinator, Deena Spindler; she is some kind of angel from above! I can't tell you how pleased we have been with the important work they do.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

more effectively promote its services and offer multiple locations. There are so many Jews with special needs services who could benefit from this service who are unaware it exists. Perhaps offer the service a few times a week, instead of just on Sunday

Ways to make it better...

more experienced teachers. Matan tends to get young women in their early 20s.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Publicizing its existence Funding

One thing I'd also say is that...

Just to reiterate, Matan is saving my son from assimilation. As a result of what they are doing, he thinks of himself as a Jew. Without Matan, this would not be possible. This is truly valuable and heroic work! We are so grateful.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

October 14, 2009

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October 14, 2009

My daughter Jodie is diagnosed with autism and has been attending Matan classes since she was in Kindergarten. This year she will celebrate her Bat Mitzvah. I honestly never thought this would be possible, and it wouldn't without the incredible support, dedication and knowledge of the team at Matan. Jodie's teachers have tailored the work to fit her skill level. She is able to recite the prayers (actually she loves to sing them really loud!) and participate in our family celebrations. Matan teachers have even attended meetings with our Rabbi to plan Jodie's Bat Mitzvah ceremony. I honestly feel that they are as excited about her becoming a Bat Mitzvah as I am. Our whole family is grateful to Matan for helping Jodie grow into the person she was meant to be.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My daughter was able to learn hebrew and about her jewish heritage because of Matan classes. Our synogogue was ill-equipped to provide instruction for children with autism.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

offer more classes in more locations

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

All of the staff and teachers are really invested in helping the children progress. They are trained to work with kids with a wide range of special needs.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

incredibly dedicated and very knowledgeable about jewish education, as well as about how to teach children with special needs.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

offer every child with special needs the chance to learn about his/her heritage. I feel fortunate that we were able to participate.

Ways to make it better...

I hope this group expands and offers classes post Bat Mitzvah.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

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