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Sunday, November 23, 2014

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The Josh committee

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The following is the job of our entire community. Please post.

All of us have to work to find a “forever home” for a 10-year-old Jewish boy, whom we’ll call Josh. OK? Please, consider yourself part of a committee, which we’ll call the Josh committee, an entity that cannot be disbanded until this child has what you and I have – a “forever family.”

I think that’s fair.

 For two years, Jewish Family & Child (JF&Cs) has worked arduously to find this enthusiastic, handsome and intelligent child a home. Throughout that time, Josh has been in two foster homes. Both have given the little guy outstanding marks for behaviour, ability to love and to be an integral part of a family.

But foster parents, God bless them, are not forever. It is therefore up to us, the Josh committee, to get Josh adopted.  So what’s the challenge? After all, according to adoptioncanada.ca, there are 40 qualified couples for every infant placed for adoption and only two per cent of children born are put up for adoption.

The tough thing is, Josh is 10 years old, and according to JF&CS professionals, many Jewish families want to adopt children but look for babies.  OK, so Josh is 10. What’s the worry? Well, he doesn’t have a “forever home,” so he can be somewhat insecure. There are some medical issues, but nothing insurmountable. It’s more expensive to adopt a 10-year-old, for sure, but the government and JF&CS have adoption subsidies to assist Josh’s “forever parents,” should they need it. 

Basically, people figure because Josh is 10, he’ll come with a whole set of problems. I haven’t met Josh, but those warriors at JF&CS assure me he’s nothing less than “delicious.” I believe them. 

I believe our committee’s mission statement of finding a “forever home” for our fellow community member is holy. Rabbi Benjamin Hecht, the director of the Jewish educational organization Nishma (www.nishma.org), told me that while Josh is not an orphan, he is to be taken care of like one.  That’s a big deal. This imperative, to embrace the orphan, is repeated throughout the Torah many times as in, “You shall not cause pain to any widow or orphan.” Exodus 22:21.

Further, according to Judaism, an adopted child is considered a full-fledged family member, and he/she is duty bound in the laws of death and mourning in the event of lost parents. In essence, by adopting Josh, by making him family, you are finding your son.

Remember when you read: Anne of Green Gables, Tom Sawyer, David Copperfield, Little Men, Oliver Twist, Pollyanna, and the story of Wart in The Once and Future King? Do you recall how your heart opened for those children without parents and how you just wanted to take them home and hold them?

That’s Josh!

So, if you’ve considered adopting a child or you know someone in your contact list trying to make a family, call them and tell them you’re on the Josh committee. Let them know they can learn more about this “delicious” community member by contacting Marsha Urowitz at JF&CS at 416-638-7800, ext. 6306.

The Josh committee will report back to you through this column. Make Josh your son. Find him a “forever home.” Maybe it’s yours.

 Josh is “friendly, charismatic, loving and inquisitive. His smile and big blue eyes are hard to resist.”  – Sheryl Ederman, practice team manager, JF&CS

 Avrum.rosensweig@veahavta.org

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