Bar Mitzvah First at Kennedy Leigh

16 November 2012

Norwood was thrilled to be part of Michael’s special celebration.

The Kennedy Leigh Centre in Hendon held its 1st Bar Mitzvah celebration last week.

Michael Lang from Borehamwood, Herts celebrated with more than 90 family and friends at Norwood’s Family Centre.

Michael has complex special needs including severe epilepsy and learning difficulties. He attends Unity, Norwood’s recreational service for children and young people with disabilities. Having worked closely with Michael for many years, Michelle Benson, Unity’s co-ordinator organised the party.Michael’s guests were joined by staff from his school, Young Epilepsy, in Surrey and from Buckets & Spades, Norwood’s short-break service. He was presented with a certificate and gifts, and enjoyed the traditional simcha sing-along.

Michael’s father, Leonard Lang, said: "We would like to thank Norwood for the unbelievable support they have given us over the years. From the Rainbow and Fathers groups to the Unity club and Buckets and Spades, we could not have managed without their help and support. The staff and Support Workers have been fantastic with Michael, who regards them as his friends. With Michael’s behavioural problems we weren’t sure how he would be on the day but, with his friends from Unity around him, he was a star and really enjoyed the ceremony and the party. It was a fantastic day, enjoyed by all, and we will have many wonderful memories.

"Jo Shone, Unity Manager said: "Norwood was thrilled to be part of Michael’s special celebration. It was so important for us to enable him celebrate his Bar Mitzvah, just like any other boy of his age, in an environment that was suitable for his needs." Norwood’s Rabbi Coten said: "We are always delighted to mark the life cycle events of the people who use our services. We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy their rich cultural heritage and a Bar Mitzvah is an important milestone."

Read a letter from the queen to Michael’s parents>