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Matan honors ‘The Good Doctor’ for its contribution to disability inclusion

It both entertained viewers and sparked crucial conversations about the abilities, challenges and aspirations of individuals with disabilities.

“The Good Doctor.” Credit: Courtesy of Key Art (Disney).
“The Good Doctor.” Credit: Courtesy of Key Art (Disney).

Matan, a New York-based, national nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting disability inclusion and belonging in Jewish communities, honored the ABC drama “The Good Doctor” at its May 29 gala in Closter, N.J. More than 200 people attended the event.

The Trailblazer Award was presented at the event to David Shore, the show’s Emmy Award-winning creator. It expressed the organization’s heartfelt gratitude for the show’s profound impact on viewers by raising awareness about disability inclusion and fostering a sense of belonging in our society.

For seven seasons until its finale on May 21, the show captivated audiences worldwide with its groundbreaking portrayal of Dr. Shaun Murphy, a young surgeon with autism and savant syndrome. It both entertained viewers and sparked crucial conversations about the abilities, challenges and aspirations of individuals with disabilities.

Shore, the program’s executive producer and co-showrunner, has been writing and producing television for more than 20 years. He created and was the showrunner on the groundbreaking medical drama “House,” which ran on Fox for eight seasons. “House” earned Shore an Emmy in the category “Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series” and several Emmy nominations for producing.

“The Good Doctor”
“The Good Doctor.” Credit: Courtesy of Key Art (Disney).

Also at the event, Matan presented its Leadership Award to Rabbi Shai Held, president and dean of the Hadar Institute in New York City, as well as an influential American Jewish thinker and leader. Matan’s Impact Award went to Aaron Kaufman, the Jewish Federations of North America’s senior manager of legislative affairs who focuses on disability and poverty issues, and a member of the Maryland House of Delegates.

Dr. Brenda Berry and Jonathan Lopatin, and Daniella and Jeffrey Wechselblatt served as event chairs.

“ABC’s ‘The Good Doctor’ has been a master class in demonstrating the importance of focusing on a person’s ability rather than disability and showcasing what is gained when everyone is included, celebrated and utilized for their unique gifts,” said Dori Frumin Kirshner, executive director of Matan. “We are honored to recognize the show’s remarkable impact on raising awareness of disability inclusion and belonging.”

Matan Spring Event
Actor Robert Sean Leonard (left) and David Shore. Credit: Douglas Gorenstein/Courtesy of Matan.
Matan Spring Event
Aaron Kaufman and Dori Frumin Kirshner. Credit: Douglas Gorenstein/Courtesy of Matan.
Matan Spring Event
David Shore and Dori Frumin Kirshner. Credit: Douglas Gorenstein/Courtesy of Matan.
Matan Spring Event
Rabbi Shai Held (left) and Rabbi Steve Greenberg. Credit: Douglas Gorenstein/Courtesy of Matan.
Matan Spring Event
Jerry, Jason and Eileen Lieberman. Credit: Douglas Gorenstein/Courtesy of Matan.
Matan Spring Event
From left: David Shore, Eileen and Jerry Lieberman, Aaron Kaufman, Rabbi Shai Held. Credit: Douglas Gorenstein/Courtesy of Matan.
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Matan is a leading organization dedicated to empowering Jewish community leaders and educators through training, coaching and consultations to provide purposeful, enriching and inclusive opportunities for people with disabilities and their families. Created in 2000, Matan is committed to meeting Jewish communities, organizations and schools 
where they are on their inclusion journey. See more at: https://mataninc.org/.
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