Director's Message

Lianne Heller, Director of Sulam

Lianne Heller, Director of Sulam

How many people can say that each day they are honored to work alongside a broad range of truly inspiring people?

I believe I am one of the privileged few.

Every day I am struck by the unique and spectacular qualities of our Sulam students. Where else does one get to witness the joyful smile of a student with Down Syndrome when he gets a bear hug from his brother and friends who attend the same school as he does? Where else can a student attend a small class to help him overcome his reading disability, and then join the entire grade on the soccer field during gym? And how about the student who is highly gifted, but needs to take untimed tests because his processing speed is slow? How many people are fortunate enough to read and celebrate brilliant works of literature and poetry, achieved only because they are given the time and understanding to do so? 

Every day I am struck by the extreme dedication and passion of a highly skilled special education faculty at Sulam. Where else does one get to witness a colleague who stays well beyond her working hours to help a student with executive function deficits to submit his college application on time. Where else do you get an educator who invites his students for Shabbat dinner to help establish a trusting and caring relationship? And how about the educator who looks for, and finds, the best workshop given in the country to allow her to address the needs of only one student? And that educator puts her own family on hold so she can travel across the country to hear the important message, and then implement it at Sulam.

Every day I am struck by the profound commitment of the Sulam parent body that believes in the strengths and abilities of its children. Where else do you find a mother who encourages and supports her child with Autism to participate in the school choir? Where else do you find a father who creates magnificent woodworking projects with a son whose strengths lie in his ability to work with his hands? And what about the parent who reads book after book to her child who loves stories, but struggles to read? 

Every day I am struck by the generosity of donors who recognize the essential needs of Sulam in our community. Where else do you meet someone who is thinking constantly about how he can make a difference in the lives of the parents and children at Sulam? Where else do you find a donor who makes sure that his check reaches Sulam in time so that it can apply it to monthly expenses? And how about the donor who offers to pay for new technology to support our students' learning? And Sulam special educators go into full gear to research the best on-line learning that is supported by that technology.

The list of outstanding people with whom I have the honor and privilege to work is endless. I can’t help but believe that this is because what we do at Sulam is work that is contributing to creating a just and fair society -  one child at a time.

Each child is an entire world of his or her own. Our work is to nourish that world, so that we can live within it with joy and celebration.

If you would like to learn more about Sulam, please email or call me.

I welcome the opportunity to tell you, and show you, more!

Lianne Heller