By COLlive reporter
Just when you thought Crown Heights had every kind of minyan possible for all age groups, social status and Orthodox affiliation, there was another one established for Yom Kippur 5773.
This one was special – in more than one sense.
The revitalized Friendship Circle of Brooklyn at the Jewish Children’s Museum has organized a minyan for and by young adults with special needs in the Crown Heights community. They had their own gabbai, took turns opening and closing the Aron Kodesh and shared aliyahs to the Torah.
Here is what Yaffa Gottlieb, a parent, wrote us:
Dovid, a “special neshama,” loves to daven. His davening gives me, his mother, lots of nachas. He can read the Hebrew words, and he has an ear for niggunim. He loves shul. He has learned how to behave there. He packs in the kavana. He has no doubt sampled all the shuls in Crown Heights with “friends” most everywhere.
But he never had his own place, a place where he could feel at home. He needed a minyan where he could daven ‘Dovid style’ – a little slower, with lots of singing and lots of enthusiasm, with fellow daveners who could appreciate his needs and abilities.
How pleased we were when Rabbi Berel Majesky called to say that there would be a special Friendship Circle minyan on Yom Kipppur Day.
Dovid was up before eight in the morning to attend this 10:00 minyan! A kind family in central Crown Heights donated their elegant dining-room for the minyan, and Dovid was greeted with smiles, yet with the apprepriate seriousness required for the awesome day.
I was politely waved away — Dovid would return at two o’clock.
How nice to have this window of time knowing that Dovid had his own chevra, that he was happy, that he was safe. I was also able to daven that morning, with gratitude to Friendship Circle.
Dovid’s father is frequently away, yet Dovid would be a challenge for three parents. He needs activities that keep him happy, safe, and interested, and his social life is very sparse. Like so many special needs children, Dovid is “one of a kind.” It is a blessing that Friendship Circle took the inituative to start a minyan, which whiich offers friendship, comradery, understanding, acceptance.
May they continue their blessed work!