Bloch, Judith S., activist in the field of early childhood special education, died on June 15, 2015. She was 86. Bloch was the Founder of Variety Child Learning Center (VCLC) in Syosset and was the Chief Executive Officer for 42 years. Upon her retirement in 2008, the executive board named the school the “Judith S. Bloch School” in her honor. VCLC provides education, services and programs on and off-site to thousands of children with special needs, including autism, and their families.
Judith studied sociology at Brooklyn College, and received her masters in social work from Columbia University in 1951. She was a trailblazer in recognizing the value of early identification and interventions for children with special needs and developmental delays. Judy made several documentary films about children with special needs and was an advocate and activist for policies that provided special education programs. Her accolades include the Thirteen/WNET NY and WLIW21 Community Hall of Fame, National Association of Social Workers NY Chapter Lifetime Achievement Award, Long Island Business News Top 50 Women in Business, and the NY State Senate Women of Distinction Award.
Judy is survived by her loving husband of 64 years, Dr. Milton Bloch, and her three daughters, Dr. Deena Bloch Schaffert (Stephan Cohen), Natalie Bloch Langner (David Langner) and Susan Bloch Leach (John Leach); and her seven grandchildren, Emily, Nathan, Rebecca, Hannah, Sophia, Geoffrey and Levi; and siblings David Simon, and Dr. Miriam Forman (John Koller).