Jason Graf, a TRY – Tichon Ramah Yerushalayim, Ramah's High School in Israel program, has been a big brother to Ami (not the boy in the picture on the left) for the past couple of months. Here's his story of friendship and seeing the world differently.
Jason Graf: Over the past two months I have been able work closely with Shutaf, a special needs youth organization that has both kids with special needs and without special needs.
I have also been a “big brother” to a kid who is involved with Shutaf. Together we have had some great times. What is truly amazing about him is he sees the small details in life that makes life pleasurable. He will show me a wild flower that does not look so nice, and tell me to take a deeper look, and then I see the beautiful purple stems in the flower that were not easily seen. Because of things like this, he teaches me so much but most importantly to see happiness and beauty in everything.
Along with getting a “little brother” I was able to participate in the Shutaf-TRY Sportathon. In simpler terms – color war. My team was made up of some TRY kids and some Shutaf kids with special needs. I stuck close to a kid named Daniel – a Shutaf kid with special needs. What I found amazing about him is that whenever anybody would ask him how he is doing, he would say, הכל טוב, or ‘everything is good.’ It really just taught me an important lesson – if this kid who has disabilities and is really in a society that does not look so nicely upon disabled people but is able to feel that everything is good, then I too should feel that everything is good, one hundred percent of the time.
The reason why I love Shutaf, is because more than I can give them, they give me. They teach the most important lesson in life – to stay positive and be happy.