Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

A need for disability advocacy


February 26, 2021

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Violinist Itzhak Perlman, seen here receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama in 2015, was among those participating in a kickoff event for Jewish Disability Advocacy Month on Feb. 3, 2021.

When Israeli-American violinist Itzhak Perlman debuted at Carnegie Hall in 1963, he performed while seated - a consequence of the polio that left him unable to walk without leg braces or crutches since age 4.

"I got a standing ovation, but The New York Times reviewer wasn't sure if that was because of the way I played or because of the fact I was sitting down while playing," recalled Perlman, now 75. "That thing followed me for two or three years. Then people got used to me and they stopped talking about it."

The renowned musician and conductor - the winner of 16 Grammy Awards, four Emmys a...

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