[by Cantor David Lipp]
What happens when you put Dawne Gee, Representative John Yarmuth, the well-known Bluegrass band Storefront Congregation, John Gage, Jennifer Diamond and Congregation Adath Jeshurun together?
You get an event to raise awareness for the only school in town whose aim is to teach autistic kids with a primarily one-on-one student/teacher ratio, The Bluegrass Center of Autism (formerly The Academy of St. Andrews).
That event will be on Saturday, August 31, at 8:45 p.m. at Adath Jeshurun.
Since Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005, AJ has taken the opportunity each year before Selichot to highlight a local or national cause and perform some awesome music. Past programs have included New Orleans Jazz, Sudanese Rebaba music and country.
BCA principal, Susan Fowler, explains the value of Disney music this year for her student population: “Children with autism watch the same videos over again. Disney movies are a special favorite. The songs are a very special part of every Disney movie and enhance this experience for them.”
Truth be told, children of all ages love Disney music!
For the first time ever, Storefront Congregation, a well-known local Bluegrass treasure, will tackle a few Disney gems to benefit BCA with local singers John Gage, Jennifer Diamond and Cantor David Lipp participating.
The evening will be hosted by WAVE3’s Dawne Gee. Featured guest, the Honorable John Yarmuth will speak about the importance of autism education in Louisville. A parent of one of the children in the school and one of their teachers will also share their experiences of this school that takes as its mission to create 100 learning opportunities per child per hour.
“Having two autistic nephews, I know firsthand the work of the Academy is a Godsend,” says AJ’s Rabbi Robert Slosberg.
Although admission to the event is free, there will be an opportunity contribute directly to the school that evening during the dessert reception following the 8:45 p.m. program.
A traditional Selichot service follows at 10:30 p.m.