ESTABLISHING A NETWORK FOR SPECIAL-NEEDS RELIGIOUS
H. Kedem, G. Mondri
In today’s era of developing self-fulfillment, more and more specialneeds
individuals want to marry. During the last few years, Alei Siach
has been developing a supportive network for such couples. Currently,
we are guiding two couples, and many others await us. Concerns: 1.
How to determine who is capable of marrying? Who decides – the
young man/woman, parents, and/or professional staff? 2. Religious
couples date only for marriage. How to determine compatibility? 3. For
religious couples, intimacy begins only after marriage. How to develop
readiness? 4. Childbearing? Goals: 1. Determining marriage ability
and providing necessary training. 2. Developing groups of couples
based on communities of origin. Each group will be housed and
integrated in its native community. 3. Couples will live within a
reasonable distance from each other, but not in the same building. 4.
Each couple will be guided by a Rabbi accepted in their community. 5.
Establishing a recreational center for married couples. 6. Employment
training. 7. Providing each couple with marriage counselor,
housemother, and counselors as needed. 8. Providing support for the
couple’s parents. Training: 1. Apartments for marriage training,
cognitively-compatible groups of same gender. 2. Studying
interpersonal and daily living skills at Alei Siach’s special college. 3.
Training counselors to teach Jewish marriage laws. Presentation
accompanied by video of both couples, and backed by articles of
Arnon Leviatan and Rabbi Shai Firon, and halachic responsa of Rabbi
Farbstein and Rabbi Eichler.