Sunday, 16 Adar, 5781
  |  February 28, 2021


Mother Narrates Daughter’s Life

Chana Sharfstein narrates the moving story of her daughter Zlati, diagnosed with Autism when it was unknown and misunderstood. Full Story, Video

There Was a Gefilte Shortage

Next Story »

Asian Man Covers ‘Dayenu’

Notify of
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Nechama Fleischmann
April 23, 2014 8:48 am

Chana Scharfstein – If your daughter was medicated improperly or was not turned correctly so that she developed a bed sore which later became fatal, I hope that you have a good lawyer. You may have a good chance to pursue a case against the facility. There is a standard of care to which a facility must be held responsible and it sounds to me like there are some glaring errors there. Also – as a parent of a child with special needs, I have seen that in the last 10 years or so, there have developed some wonderful Jewish… Read more »

Iris Schachter
April 23, 2014 1:39 am

Chana…..Kol HaKavod. What a beautiful tribute.

and the elders ,too
April 23, 2014 12:34 am

thank you for sharing your daughters story I am so sorry about your all suffering m my beloved grandmother, obm,without previously being autistic, was injured in a very similar manner with similar horrendous results overmedicated in a nursing home I was born chemically injured from my mothers overmedication, and am what could be termed very high functioning autistic sensory overload syndrome, raw damaged central nervous system we need to help our most vulnerable and often very highly sensitive and gifted children of G-d, even the 90 nyear old may your daughters soul be at peace and enveloped in the love… Read more »

Mirele Rosenberger
April 18, 2014 4:28 pm

Now that your beloved daughter, Zlati, is in the world of Emes, she sees how you were always there for her, as her best advocate. I am certain that she is shedding enormous light down to you and your family. May we all be reunited with those we have lost, immediately now.

a fellow parent with an autistic child
April 18, 2014 3:21 pm

to number 10, I see that you have very little understanding about this world. Firstly there are almost no Jewish schools outside of new York who deal with this. Most of the day schools or yeshivas are not interested at all in these children and it is from these schools that our beautiful Jewish kids are taught to taunt ,stare and remark,,bully etc. At least in new York progress has been made,,but not even close to where it could be. if everyone would just total up what was spent by people going to all the Pesach programs, they could fund… Read more »

Your Admirer and Former Student
April 18, 2014 1:55 pm

Mrs. Sharfstien radiates life, joy and exuberance. I can still hear her mesmerizing voice as she taught us Literature in Bais Rivkah. Never did we even glimpse her deep pain as she was able to rise above and grab life by its horns. Continue to inspire us. May you find comfort and know of no more sorrow.

chana, you inspire me
April 18, 2014 12:22 pm

As a mother of a child who is just a few months old and has been diagnosed already with multiple issues, I cried while watching your video. Im crying for you that you had to deal with all the unnecessary attitude and nastiness of those around you in addition to caring for such a child.Hashem should give you the strength to have true happiness!!! It amazes me how you were such a good advocate for your daughter! May her neshama have an aliya.

to my classmate shterny sharfstein
April 18, 2014 11:39 am

not having grown up in crown heights I never was fully aware of your burden, I cannot imagine the pain of feeling alone because your sister was different….. may the skils and empathy life forced you to acquire when dealing with her be a zechus for you and yours. may all the ways you extended yourself be recognized by hashem and be reflected in your life with a smooth and easy road that leads straight to yerushalayim with the geulah haamitis vehashlaima in this zeman cheirusainu. c (G) L

A voice...
April 18, 2014 11:30 am

At last a voice has emerged from the Jewish community that will speak out against the medication abuse that routinely goes on in the “care and treatment” of those with medical, emotional, mental, and special needs. There are truly healing alternatives to the medications and incredibly poor nutrition these helpless individuals are nearly always given when hospitalized or institutionalized (in whatever form). I worked many decades ago as a group home counselor with special needs children including a beautiful young girl named Rachel who was diagnosed with autism. Into macrobiotics at the time I met with Meir Abesera and asked… Read more »

A Fan of Chana Sharfstein
April 18, 2014 10:26 am

This story was inspiring and incredible! We can all learn from the grace and dignity in which Mrs. Sharfstein carried and continues to carry herself.
May Zlati’s neshoma have an aliyah.

miryam swerdlov
April 18, 2014 9:37 am

with tears and regrets i watched this film.
we never really understood what you were going through.
now her pure neshomo is at rest.
you can be too for you did everything you could.

my heart goes out to Mrs. Scharfstein and the rest of the family
April 18, 2014 1:45 am

I had a brother like Zlati. He was born in 1943, before autism was even identified, he was diagnosed instead as retarded (except back then it was called “moron”). He was sent away to an institution before I was born. Years later after my parents were no longer on this world and I became responsible for him, one time he got sick and I was called to the institution because they didn’t think he was going to survive, and the night nurse allowed me to read his entire binder, it was heartbreaking… in one of the early institutions he had… Read more »

Breaks my heart but teaches a lesson
April 18, 2014 1:34 am

Mrs. Sharfstein, Thank you for this eye opening (albeit extremely heartbreaking) lesson, i already respect people with special needs, i’ve worked with down’s syndrome and autistic, (not professionally) but now i see it on a whole new level, and will cherish every moment i come in contact with these pure special neshamas. I give you my utmost respect and I’m in awe of all you have done for this precious neshamah entrusted in your competent care. It must have been draining. I hope that there is a new level of awareness and action as a result of this stunning documentary.… Read more »

To comment number 2
April 18, 2014 1:11 am

Firstly, this is very sad, and inspiring at the same time. I’m sorry you also had to go through a similar challenge 🙁 Just wondering, Why throw the blame on Jews? 1. We hear about this kind of treatment from non jews who deal with special needs children as well. This is probably more common in their communities than in ours! 2. We jews have so many beautiful schools / friendship circles, etc where these children are treated beautifully. I highly doubt you can find this anywhere but in the Jewish community. Just curious why only point fingers at the… Read more »

Kol Hakovod! We need to learn from this!
April 17, 2014 11:34 pm

Hamakom Yinachem Eschem BSoch Shaar Aveili Tzion V’Yerushalaim. I don’t know how you did it. How you survived all of this. Having a child THESE days means a high possibility of being diagnosed with ADHD or any other disorder and medicating the child. Who knows if anything like NMS are in those children’s future. I struggle with the decision to medicate my child daily. Your’s and Zlati’s story bring to light how careful we have to be before making the decision to medicate and how much we have to daven every time we give our children medications – and more… Read more »

Special Needs
April 17, 2014 9:53 pm

Many people who are “special needs” abhor that title. It is condensing and patronizing.

April 17, 2014 8:44 pm

many you not know of any suffering! What a strong woman Mrs Sharfstien!

A tragedy
April 17, 2014 8:32 pm

What a tragic story. I am the mother of a little girl with Down syndrome and I always thank hashem that she was born now in a time when there is so much more understanding, acceptance and support.

May zlatis neshamah have an Aliyah.

An admiring viewer
April 17, 2014 8:26 pm

Kol hakavod for sharing this subject that is a part of every community. We all can learn about ourselves when we address the difficulties we have when relating to people born with special needs. As long as we want to improve and learn how to be more natural and accepting, we will grow in positive ways and then we will make the difference.

April 17, 2014 7:11 pm

Such an important message.

in awe
April 17, 2014 5:19 pm

I have so much respect for Mrs. Sharfstein’s courage.

I'm so saddened
April 17, 2014 4:15 pm

I too gave a little one with autism. I have stories that would make anyone cry of how my older son has been treated by fellow Jews, cruel and evil treatment, disrespect, cyber bullied, and treated like dirt, send all from fellow Jews, both here and abroad. Special kids help identify the real crazes in the jewish world, the evil in in a person comes out quickly when someone who is different is treated with disdain. What’s wrong with the jewish people, many are bullies and are never ever treated for their own sick running cruelty, they are allowed to… Read more »

April 17, 2014 3:59 pm

Wow. This story should be international news. It goes against the narrative of all the horrors that happened 40 + yr’s ago to those born with special needs.