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ISSUE NO. 182 -  IYAR-SIVAN 5777  -  MAY 2017

Marlee Matlin makes Boston rounds

Marlee Matlin makes Boston rounds

Photo: Credit: Courtesy. From left, Ruderman Family Foundation Director Shira Ruderman, Ruderman Family Foundation President Jay Ruderman, actress Marlee Matlin and Ruderman foundation trustee and director of the Boston office, Sharon Shapiro.

Olivia Vanni
Inside Track
Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Academy Award-winning actress Marlee Matlin is making the rounds throughout the Boston area, visiting local charitable organizations wherever she goes.

“It’s been a coincidence,” the L.A. lady told the Track. “It’s funny because lately I’ve been at more places around Boston than I’ve been at places around where I live. … It’s probably because (Boston has) been around a while, but California is only about 150 years old, so foundations here have had a head start with the work they’ve been doing.”

Matlin, who won a best-actress Oscar in 1987 for her performance in “Children of a Lesser God,” first swung by the Ruderman Family Foundation, a Newton-based organization that promotes disability inclusion. Earlier this year, the Ruderman Family Foundation recognized the actress for her activism, so Matlin visited its offices yesterday to be honored with a $100,000 MER Award for Disability Advocacy.

Next stop was the Westin Waltham, where Matlin spoke at the annual Pomegranate Society & Friends Event for female philanthropy hosted by the Combined Jewish Philanthropies. An advocate for the deaf community, Matlin opened up about her personal journey — from losing her hearing to succeeding in Hollywood.

“I never let anyone define me,” she said. “The barriers I’ve faced are only within those who wish to handicap me. … I can do everything — beyond being on ‘The Voice’ or recording an album.”

Since winning her Oscar, Matlin has acted in a slew of TV shows, including her recurring role as Joey Lucas on “The West Wing.”

Matlin has served as a national celebrity spokesperson for the American Red Cross and is on the boards of several charities, including the Children Affected by AIDS Foundation and Easter Seals. She’s also authored three children’s books — “Deaf Child Crossing,” “Nobody’s Perfect” and “Leading Ladies” — as well as her autobiography, “I’ll Scream Later.”

“I’ve already done what people who can hear try to achieve,” Matlin said.

“After I won the Oscar, people said it was out of pity and that I would never work again,” she said. “I’ve had to break those barriers. There are none within me. That doesn’t mean I haven’t struggled. I’ve had moments of self-doubt. But I used the example of my parents and made everything happen.”

Source: http://www.bostonherald.com/entertainment/inside_track/2017/04/marlee_matlin_makes_boston_rounds

 

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Presentation made by Rabbi Fred Friedman during Chair Hour on May 15, 2016

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