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Unsung heroes, untold inspiration

A lot of people talk about equality and about sacrifices to achieve it. A lot of people talk about the rights of Jewish kids with special needs to be exposed to everything Jewish, from Jewish holidays to education to respect.

We know of no two people who talk the talk and walk the walk so consistently, heroically, personally and profoundly as Dr. Stephen and Vicki Krausz.

The Denver Jewish community will soon say shalom to this pair of angels.

Who volunteers to adopt a child — and more than one child — with Down syndrome? The Krauszes. Who makes it possible for Jewish kids with profound special needs to find a place in a Jewish home? The Krauszes. Who makes it possible for Jewish parents to adopt and embrace Jewish children with profound special needs? The Krauszes.

Dr. Stephen and Vicki Krausz founded the Jewish Children’s Adoption Network (JCAN) in 1990 to help locate Jewish parents for Jewish children, most of whom have special needs.

Their heroic journey began this way. After having two “birth” children, the Krauszes wanted to expand their family, so they took in a little girl with special needs. Right around that time, Vicki became pregnant with their fourth child. Then their family kept growing as the Krauszes adopted two more children with special needs.

Through the processes of adopting these children, the Krauszes became sensitive to the importance of Jewish children being placed with Jewish families. Just because a child was born with profound special needs, does that mean he or she should be raised in a non-Jewish religion?

The Krauszes felt that there was every reason for a child with special needs to be blessed with the very same Jewish opportunities as any other Jewish child; and no good reason for a child with special needs to be denied these opportunities.

The Krauszes wanted to share their experiences and passion to help children and prospective parents find each other. They developed a network of contacts and honed their expertise.

JCAN is not an adoption agency; the Krauszes consider themselves matchmakers. JCAN does not have a big budget; it runs on heart, energy, outreach, personal commitment and small donations. The Krauszes feel strongly about finding Jewish homes for Jewish children. Since 1990, Vicki and Steve Krausz have “matched” more than 2,000 children! — again, many with profound special needs — with Jewish parents just waiting to share their love.

“Anyone who saves one Jewish soul, it is as if he has saved an entire world,” says the Talmud.

The Krauszes have saved 2,000 Jewish souls, making certain that 2,000 bodies were afforded the opportunity for a Jewish identity.

Did we mention? The Krauszes do not charge for their services. This is truly a mitzvah-driven couple, if ever there was one.

Now, at great loss to the unique status that the Krauszes and their idealistic activities bestow on the Denver Jewish community, they will move to Baltimore to be near their children and grandchildren.

We cannot blame them.

We can miss them and the inspiration that their very noble, very quiet, very discreet, work provides.

The good news: The Krauszes will continue to operate JCAN in Baltimore.

We wish them every success in this new chapter in their dedicated lives.

Copyright © 2016 by the Intermountain Jewish News

2 thoughts on “Unsung heroes, untold inspiration

  1. Aviva Ernst

    Vickie and Steve brought us our wonderful Batya. They also inspired us to adopt a second girl. Sadly Batya died when she was 14 1/2 and I would not have traded a minute of the almost 13 years Batya was in our family for anything.

    We are so blessed to have met Vickie and Steve and hope they are able to continue their joyus work of shiddukm for special needs children.

    Love from Israel.


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