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Ready, Willing, and Able

Sherry Zimmerman

Too often, when it comes to shidduchim, people with disabilities are viewed primarily as their disability, rather than as talented, interesting individuals who happen to have a disability. How some couples managed to get past the labels and find their zivug.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

When Sharon Shapiro was a college freshman, she saw graduate student Yisroel Lacks at a Hillel event. She asked him about a program she had missed, and the two of them began a conversation they didn’t want to end. They became friends and enjoyed discussions about topics like G-d, Yiddishkeit, psychology, astronomy, art, music, and how they saw the trajectory of their lives. Within a few months, they were dating. Because they both wanted to grow religiously, Sharon and Yisroel began to attend Torah classes at a nearby Young Israel and gradually became shomer Shabbos. Four years after they met, they married and set up a home.  This is more than a simple boy-meets-girl happy ending. Sharon, who has cerebral palsy, feels grateful to the ultimate Shadchan for introducing her to her husband, who has no disabilities. “As someone using a wheelchair and having a speech disability, I can’t imagine that I would have been set up with a person who didn’t have a disability by shadchanim,” she shares. “My husband and I consider it fortunate that we met in a social venue.” 

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