By Phyllis J. Lubin

“Rise and shine! Time to get up, Yuss!”

“Please can I watch the concert?”

“Time to wake up and get dressed.”

“Aw, please watch concert first?”

“Here is the schedule, Yuss: First wake up, then bathroom, then get dressed, then go to shul with Daddy, then breakfast, and then concert!”

“O.K., fine.”

Yuss thrives on schedules. It is our method to focus him.

As the time for Yussie’s bar mitzvah approaches, we are trying to get him in the mode of going to daily minyan every morning at the Chabad of the Five Towns. This past Monday he was honored with the task of gelilah (rolling up the Torah after the reading of the week’s portion).

A couple of weeks ago we were thrilled to attend the South Side Middle School’s evening of music. We were serenaded by the school orchestra and choir. Yussie is proud to be an important member of the school band. He is one of two members of the band on the xylophone, and he has amazing rhythm. Of course I captured the music on my trusty iPhone, and now Yussie is enthralled to watch the concert religiously every morning.

“Bum, bum, bum, badum. Bum, bum, bum, badum.”

I think I hear that music in my sleep. Sadly, I do not remember the name of the tune, but we all have the melody embedded in our minds.

The choice to switch Yosef to South Side Middle School last year was daunting. Was this going to be a good move? How would Yussie adapt to a new location? New classmates? I am happy to say that Yussie is thriving. He has been welcomed to South Side with open arms.

On the occasions when we bring Yussie to school, we see him greeted like royalty by the guards and office staff. Everybody in the building knows him, and he puts a smile on everyone’s face! When we are on the scene to pick him up, I still get a thrill when his various friends throughout the school pat him on the back or shout hello to him from afar. Although in a special-education class, Yussie is mainstreamed quite often throughout the school day. In addition, he is a full member of the after-school athletics program: soccer in the fall, basketball in the winter, and finally track this past spring. And, of course, he is mainstreamed with the Middle School band.

As the school year comes to a close, Yussie will be sad to say good-bye to South Side Middle School, but fortunately the musical notes of the 2013 concert will keep the school spirit with all of us throughout the summer! v

Phyllis Joy Lubin is an attorney with Maidenbaum & Sternberg, LLP, who resides in Cedarhurst with her husband, Leonard. They have six children: Naftali, Shoshana, Rivka, Rochel, Yosef, and Lea and a daughter-in-law, Nina. The author welcomes your questions and comments at


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here