February 23, 2011
Michelle K. Wolf is a special needs parent activist and non-profit professional who has worked in the governmental and non-profit sectors for the past 27 years.
While a graduate student at Hebrew Union College and USC, Michelle had an internship with City Councilmember Zev Yaroslavsky, which grew into a full-time job as Press Secretary. Other jobs followed in the Jewish and non-profit arena including Director of Caring for Jews in Need for the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles.
After her second child, Danny, was diagnosed with developmental disabilities, Michelle realized there were very few programs and services available to similar children in the Jewish community, and became involved in the BJE Special Needs Committee as well as governmental parental advisory boards,
In 2005, together with Sally Weber of Jewish Family Service, she co-founded HaMercaz (www.hamercaz.org) which is the Los Angeles Jewish community’s one-stop center to help Jewish parents raising a child with special needs. A collaborative project with 7 Jewish non-profits, HaMercaz is funded by The Jewish Federation and Jewish Family Service is the lead clinical agency.
Danny, now 18 years old, has been an active participant in many Jewish special needs programs including the Shaare Tikvah program at VBS, Camp JCA Shalom, The Miracle Theater project at Vista Del Mar, the Tikvah program at Camp Ramah, Etta Israel Center and the Friendship Circle of Los Angeles. He was bar mitzvahed at Temple Beth Am. He loves Israeli music, swimming and watching music videos on his Ipad.