This month’s episode of Israel Story is devoted entirely to Chaya’s story. Chaya Ben Baruch grew up as Enid, in a Conservadox family in Far Rockaway, N.Y. Midway through college, she left that world behind to study sea otters in Fairbanks, Alaska.
Fast-forward a decade: Enid is now married to a nice Catholic salmon fisher named Stan. She’s just given birth to her sixth child, and discovers he has Down syndrome. Many parents in her position would be devastated. Some might place their baby in an institution, or put him up for adoption. For Enid, the birth of Angkor started her and her family on an incredible journey—to Tzfat, Israel, and from there to court rooms, hospitals, ultra-Orthodox yeshivas, and wedding halls, all so she could do right by her child and the other special-needs children she picked up along the way. Host Mishy Harman brings us this remarkable story. Produced by Israel Story, with help this week from Pejk Malinovski. Music for this podcast is by Rob Burger. (Listen to the full episode here, or download from iTunes. You can find all episodes of Sipur Israeli, the Hebrew version of Israel Story, here, and all our English-language episodes here.)
Act 1: Sea Otters
Act 2: Tzfat
Act 3: Kirin and Avichai
Bonus feature—the wedding video: