by Lori Kramer, Office Manager
Alongside my role as the Office Manager at Mayyim Hayyim, I have the pleasure of being Ema (mom) to four wonderful, amazing, patience-trying, and dynamic children. My oldest, Avi, is turning 17 next month. I have proudly worn the label of Special Needs Mom since Avi was in second grade (though I’ve really been a Special Needs Mom since he was born, we just did not have the words to describe it), and the more specific label of Autism Mom since July 1, 2014.
While my son’s autism diagnosis did not come until he was 14, we have been managing his Individualized Education Program, special services, and pullout classes for over 10 years.
Last year, Avi moved to a school for students with language-based learning disabilities. The change in him – not just academically – is astounding. He has evolved into a social teenager with typical drama with friends, rolled eyes about doing chores, and a wonderful sense of self-confidence he has never had before. Okay, I’ll be honest, he always rolled his eyes about doing chores.
It has always been paramount in my parenting to make sure there are accessible, welcoming places for Avi that accept him just as he is. Mayyim Hayyim has always made sure that people just like Avi feel included and embraced. Mayyim Hayyim’s commitment to accessibility can be seen in our film, Open Waters: Mikveh for Everybody.
In support of Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month 2017, Mayyim Hayyim is so proud to launch our simplified, pictorial version of the 7 Kavanot (intentions) for Mikveh Preparation for people with developmental disabilities, non-native English speakers, and children, (created in partnership with the Ruderman Family Foundation, along with the Open Waters film) ensuring that even more people can access the ritual of mikveh.
During Jewish Disability Awareness & Inclusion Month, I am so proud to work for an organization that puts inclusion first.
Lori Kramer comes to Mayyim Hayyim from an extensive background in non-profit administration. She previously worked at JCC of Greater Boston and JCC Camp Kingswood. She lives in Woonsocket, RI with her four kids and her husband.