By Margia Pensak, as it appeared in the August 26, 2020 edition of INYAN.
Not being a mother of girls, I can only imagine the typical reaction of a daughter opening up a beautifully wrapped gift from her parents, only to find a school uniform inside. But for Esther Danziger, the broad smile on her face was indicative of a dream come true — it meant she would attend a Jewish school for the very first time and go on the same bus as most other girls living on Yeshiva Lane, located on the Yeshivas Ner Yisroel campus. In September 2012, Esther was just one of a group of five young girls with developmental disabilities who walked into Bais Yaakov of Baltimore. They were third-graders who, up until that point, had attended public school. Mainstreaming these students wasn’t working, even with full-time class shadows. You had to meet these girls where they were. You couldn’t just stick them in a classroom. Read on