Purim carnival welcomes kids with special needs
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A collaborative effort to be inclusive, welcoming and supportive of Jewish children with special needs and their families came to life on Feb. 24 at a Purim celebration and carnival at Peninsula Temple Beth El in San Mateo.
In addition to a Beth El lineup that included a Megillah reading, a Purimshpiel, singing, face painting and a big carnival, there was a special sensory-friendly carnival that took place in a quiet room.
Fifteen sixth-graders and two seventh-graders from Ronald C. Wornick Jewish Day School in Foster City served as volunteers at the smaller carnival. Many families came with their special-needs children and siblings.
“It was a fun, dynamic, yet not overwhelming event, and many families expressed their gratitude and excitement in being able to take part in the carnival when they might otherwise not have been able to,” he said.
According to Jewish LearningWorks, more than 9,000 Jewish children in the areas served by the federation are diagnosed with a learning challenge. The Include initiative seeks to help them find a home within the Jewish community. n