Benji Rubin, a special needs attorney, didn’t choose his profession at random. For Benji, whose brother Mitchell has autism, the issue hits close to home.
“Benji truly could do anything, be anyone,” said Jodi Newmark, Benji’s nominator. “That he chose to make his life’s work [fighting for] the right of people with intellectual/developmental disabilities to live a full life in the Jewish community and to have financial and legal protection, is a tribute to himself and his family, and a blessing for our community.”
Benji’s commitment to helping people with special needs and their families extends beyond the professional realm. As the president of the SIBS Network (Supporting Illinois Brothers and Sisters), Benji has played an instrumental role in developing a supportive community for Chicago-area siblings of people with disabilities, an often overlooked population that faces a unique set of challenges. He also serves on the board of directors of The Arc of Illinois and is a member of the Clearbrook Associate Board, as well as a member of the Advisory Council and Executive Committee of the Supported Community Living Initiative, a joint project of JUF, Jewish Child and Family Services, and Keshet.
“Benji raises his hand, and he follows through,” Newmark added. “If Benji says he will do something, it gets done.”
Attorney at Rubin Law, A Professional Corporation. Special Needs Future Planning for fellow families of children and adults with developmental disabilities, intellectual disabilities, and/or mental illness
On the side:
Avid Bulls, Bears, and Northwestern sports fan, international politics, and hanging out with my three nephews
How do you give back?
Spend a lot of time and money advocating for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, travel the world, and have one of my residences in Israel.
Describe yourself in 10 words or less:
Disabilities advocate, Uncle Benji, Northwestern fan, political junkie, Zionist
Celebrity doppelganger/who would play you in a movie:
No idea. Any suggestions?
How do you Jew in Chicago?
I am a member of Anshe Sholom, and an active member of the vibrant community of modern orthodox young professionals in Lakeview. I also frequently can be found at Milt’s BBQ for the Perplexed.
International politics, advocating on behalf of those with intellectual and developmental disabilities, theme park enthusiast
Chicago's Jewish community in 10 years:
Hopefully a thriving community that will grow and continue to enhance its role as a leading center of Jewish life in America.
Me in 10 years:
Be'ezrat Hashem, happily married with children and still running a thriving law practice with my dad able to be semi-retired and coming in only a couple days a week.