It all started with a single phone call from a parent in Baltimore’s frum community. “I just gave birth to a little girl with Down syndrome,” said the woman on the other end of the line. “What services are available for her?”
The recipient of this phone call, Marjorie Shulbank, worked for the Maryland State Department of Education. Services for children with disabilities were part of her job description, yet she didn’t have much to offer the distressed mother, who had four other children at home and hardly knew another frum child in Baltimore with Down syndrome. As the two women talked, what struck Marjorie the most was how sad the mother sounded. “Do you have any other questions?” Marjorie asked her as the conversation wound down.