Annual event benefits students with learning disabilities
By Daniel Horowitz--Fortunately for the parents of children with special needs, the late Max Guttmann believed that no child should ever be left behind. And, in continuing to honour their late father’s philosophy, sons Craig and Sean are preparing for the 11th annual Max Guttmann Memorial Golf Tournament.
The tournament, which swings into action on Tuesday, August 31 at Pheasant Run Golf Club, is raising funds for Grades 5-8 special education classes at Associated Hebrew Schools, which is serving former She’arim students, with learning disabilities. This specialized educational program is funded by UJA Federation. Proceeds from the tournament will ensure the continuation of high quality, customized education for children who have special learning needs.
In its previous ten years of operation, the tournament has raised more than $500,000 in support of Jewish children with learning disabilities.
Chairs of this year’s tournament are Susan Eklove, Shelli Koenigsberg and Richie Stoll, all of whom are also the parents of children attending the special education program.
“My 12-year-old son Ilan is at Associated and he has never been happier and more successful in school than he is today,” said Eklove. “He enjoys being part of a larger school, taking regular art and gym classes with children from the regular stream. He goes out for enriched math and creative writing. The children have a beautiful facility with new technology such as laptops and smart boards. My husband and I recently went to the school to see the children present their own Power Point presentation on their family heritage. For most of these kids, now in Grade 6 and 7, this was the first time they had stood up in front of a group of people to give an oral report. The amount of creativity that the teacher encouraged from the kids was astounding, as was the quality of their work. The positive atmosphere was electric.”
According to Eklove, who is also a Special Education teacher, the model adopted for the former She’arim students at Associated is an ideal one.
“The kids benefit from having all of the resources at Associated, a diverse peer group, and classes which our kids can integrate into for the parts that they are able to,” said Eklove. “Conversely, if the host school has a child that is having a tremendous amount of trouble in a particular subject, they too can put a child into the class for that topic. This also helps the kids socialize and builds bridges between the groups. Hopefully we can expand this program to more children as the “jewel in the crown” of the Toronto Jewish Education system, something to be very, very proud of.”
The tournament will include a barbecue, refreshments, contests, dinner, silent auction, awards ceremony, and much, much more.
For more information, or to register, visit www.maxguttmannmemorial.org or call Elena Livertovsky at 416.635.2883 #5329.