Archives in January 2021

Shabbat Shira and the Power of Song

By Tamar Davis, Chief Executive Officer
January 29, 2021

Tonight and tomorrow are Shabbat Shira, the Sabbath of Song, named for the special song found in the Torah portion that we read this week. This song, which the Children of Israel sing to God after being saved from their Egyptian enslavers, is a joyful expression of sheer redemption. I’m always fascinated by how a song, music formed by a pattern of notes that creates a melody, can evoke such strong emotions in us.

I remember reading the story of a child who had trouble walking, but when listening to music, was able to walk perfectly. Music, or more specifically, melody, is processed by an entirely different part of our brains than speech. There is much fascinating research about music and the brain, including how music therapy can be beneficial for individuals with neurological conditions.

Music brings people together in a way that words alone never could. We were so fortunate that even though we couldn’t be physically together this past November for our annual Sweet Sounds event, we were able to host Israel’s Shalva Band virtually. These eight band members, each with a disability, united us even when we were apart.

So in the spirit of Shabbat Shira, I am sharing this clip from The Shalva Band, and hope you will join me in song.


Climbing the Hill

By Tamar Davis, Chief Executive Officer
January 22, 2021

On this historic week of Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Inauguration, I reflect upon both the words that Dr. King spoke many years ago and those that inaugural poet Amanda Gorman spoke only two days ago in her poem, "The Hill We Climb."

In this video, I share how these words of perseverance and hope speak to my own experience as a person with a disability and to our imperative at Gateways to overcome inertia—to keep climbing the hill—when it comes to advocating for our community members and making inclusion the birthright of our children.

I hope you will share with me the quotes from Dr. King and "The Hill We Climb" that have inspired you this week.

Category: Reflections & Perspectives

Tagged under: reflections, advocacy, inclusion


Finding Strength in Times of Transition

By Tamar Davis, Chief Executive Officer
January 8, 2021

This week, the transition from the end of 2020 to the beginning of 2021 has coincided with a transition in the reading of the Torah, as we finish one book and begin the next. In this video message, I reflect on the words that we say when we enter these moments of transition in the Torah: chazak, chazak v'nitchazek—be strong, be strong, and we will be strengthened.

Category: Reflections & Perspectives