Monthly Archives: February 2018

To Listen With Empathy: Things I Learned From My Niece by Ayala Emmett

Shunamit on Nurses Day at Hadassah Hospital

My niece Shunamit, nicknamed Shuni, a woman with disabilities wrote what she would like people to know about her life: “I am 40 years of age. I work in Jerusalem at Hadassah Hospital Mount Scopus as a support person in the daycare center for chronically ill children. I am well liked at work, I learn and I improve, I am content and I do my job well.”

Her work narrative would not surprise people in the U.S., in Israel and in many countries where work is an integral part of defining adulthood. For people with disabilities like Shunamit, however, participation in the workplace is far from taken for granted and was brought about by an innovative program initiated by The Feuerstein Institute. read more

Life and Death in Jerusalem by Ayala Emmett

She heard four gunshots. It happened on Friday March 19 2004, in a Jewish neighborhood in Jerusalem. It took place, she told me, shortly after her husband had returned from synagogue. As on every Friday night they followed Jewish Sabbath practices, they sang the song welcoming God’s angels to their home, blessed the wine, washed their hands, made the blessing over the challah bread and started the meal when she heard the shots.

She ran to the porch and looked three stories down and there in the parking lot was a person lying on the ground. She told her husband to pick up the phone, which they would not ordinarily do on the Sabbath. He called an ambulance and they both ran down as fast as they could. She recognized the young man. For sometime she had done some brisk walking in the neighborhood and had seen the man jogging. They had exchanged greetings, but nothing more. read more