Gratefully Reflecting on the Future
— Miriam Avraham
Founding Director, Shutaf
Whenever I think back to the day we had to put all our employees on furlough, as Israel went into its first lockdown in March 2020, I recall the visceral response I had to a scary, unknown future. In the ensuing months, I became almost grateful for the chance to step back from the frenzy of the day-to-day work, and truly reflect on the future of Shutaf. Of course, Beth and I had spoken often about this, but it was suddenly possible to gain even more clarity about our dreams for the organization without the daily “noise.”
As we slowly develop a succession plan, I am able to connect calmly to a vision of Shutaf in the future — continuing to model excellent, inclusive programming for children, teens and young adults with disabilities. I also see Shutaf’s Inclusion Guide helping hundreds — if not thousands — of teachers, counselors, professionals and parents to really see, truly hear and calmly respond to children and adults of all ages with disabilities who deserve to be seen, heard and respected.
Shutaf continues to be a relatively small organization in Jerusalem (thanks to Naomi’s wise words that not everyone has to go national), yet through our Inclusion Guide we have the potential to spread our inclusion ethos widely — even globally and across cultures. I’m unexpectedly connecting to the possibility of Shutaf having a huge impact on the field of disabilities in the coming years. I look forward to reflecting on that when Beth and I retire, as we sit on the beach on a beautiful Greek island, watching the sunset and sipping our margaritas.