The Right Person in the Right Place: Matan Koch

In the news: Matan Koch, an associate at Kramer, Levin, Naftalis & Frankel, has been nominated by President Barack Obama to serve as a member of the National Council on Disability.

The appointment was an excellent choice. Not only has Matan been active in the disabilities rights movement – as vice-chair of the New Haven Commission on Disabilities and chair of its Americans with Disabilities Act Subcommittee, as a member of the Union for Reform Judaism-Department of Jewish Family Concerns’ Disability Task Force and its Special Needs Camping Committee — he also has cerebral palsy.

Which means that Matan lives what he so passionately cares about, and he’s an increasingly public role model for young people with special needs. Matan also weaves improving the lives of those with disabilities into his professional life, dedicating many pro bono hours to clients seeking to be appointed guardians of their adult children with special needs and helping prepare a brief for the New York State Court of Appeals for a leading mental health nonprofit.

This young man has never let his disability hold him down, earning a B.A. in religious studies in 2002 from Yale where he served as president of the school’s Student Disability Community, followed by a J.D. from Harvard Law School in 2005.

You’ll want to remember the name Matan Koch. You are sure to be hearing from him as an up-and-coming leader of American – and Jewish – disabilities advocacy.

— Jay Ruderman

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