by Jacob Kane

Before I participated in TAP, I had never heard of it or the amazing work that they do in my
community. Now that I have participated in their training and I can take the knowledge that TAP
has given me and apply it to something I care about, I am truly proud to be a TAP participant.

After participating in the initial TAP training, I was surprised at how much I was able to apply it
to what I needed to do during Hebrew school. Soon after starting, I found myself observing
details about the students that I normally would not have noticed such as certain behaviors,
interactions with their peers and teachers, and their reactions to certain noises and visuals. The
funniest thing that I noticed was how some of them started to display behaviors a lot like what I
remember doing at that age. It was unusual things, like asking questions about the synagogue and
the pictures on the wall, looking out the window and asking about buildings and cars on Old
York Road, and so many other things that I found so funny. For me and my mother, who I would
consistently share these stories with, it was definitely something of a déjà vu moment.

I am also proud of my TAP experience because it was extremely enlightening and refreshing to
see my synagogue and the wonderful people that keep it running from a completely new
perspective. The incredible educators, clergy, administrators, and maintenance staff who have
been keeping this synagogue running for as long as I can remember became not just the fixtures
of the community that I had been a part of since birth, but people whose wisdom, knowledge,
and experience has kept this amazing institution running like clockwork for as long as I can
remember. To view these exceptional people from a new perspective has been an extremely
humbling experience that I am extremely grateful for.

I am proud to be a part of the incredible group of people that make up the TAP community
because not only have I been able to provide a new generation of students with a strong Jewish
education despite their learning disabilities, but I have also been able to learn from these students
and the community that surrounds us lessons that have truly impacted me as a person.

Jacob Kane is a teen assistant at Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel.