Israel Story

Love Syndrome: Israel Story, Episode 2

Chaya Ben Baruch’s sixth child was born with Down syndrome. Then she did what every good mother does—set out to find him a mate.

September 22, 2014
Avichai and Kirin Ben Baruch(Photo courtesy of Chaya Ben Baruch)

Avichai and Kirin Ben Baruch(Photo courtesy of Chaya Ben Baruch)

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:

Israel Story, the English-language version of the popular Israeli radio program Sipur Israeli, is distributed by PRX and produced in partnership with Tablet.

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