By Ed Frim Of course we want to include everyone in synagogue life regardless of their abilities. But when we scratch the surface, it is not so simple. We do not all agree on what inclusion means; we have different reasons, even within Jewish tradition, for focusing on inclusion; and there are many barriers to doing it and doing it right. One of the best definitions of inclusion I’ve read is from Miss Malory, an occupational therapist and … [Read more...] about How Inclusive ARE You (of those with disabilities)?
By Daniel R. Weiss Last week a post on the JEDLab Facebook page, a question was posed asking, “What Tanach references do you have in regards to Jewish disabilities awareness month?” The question got me thinking about what we do in Jewish Day Schools to include all students, no matter their abilities. Walking through the hallways of our school, as I’m sure it is in almost every Jewish Day School across the country, on a daily basis is an … [Read more...] about Fulfilling Our Potential
In September 2016, ALEH, Israel’s network of care for children with severe complex disabilities, joined forces with Israel’s Ministry of Education to launch “Tikkun Olam,” an experiential education program that exposes Israeli high school students to peers with disabilities and imparts the importance of acceptance and inclusion through lectures, workshops and hands-on volunteering opportunities. Building upon the success of its 2016-17 pilot … [Read more...] about ALEH’S ‘Tikkun Olam’ program teaching Israeli Teens importance of Disability Inclusion
February is Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month, a unified initiative to raise disability awareness and support efforts to foster inclusion in Jewish communities worldwide. By Shelly Christensen Looking back over the past 10 years, Jewish communities around the world have embraced Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month (JDAIM) in February. I never imagined that it would resonate to the extent that it has in Jewish … [Read more...] about Where Are We Now? 10 Years of Jewish Disability Awareness in Inclusion Month
By Elisa Blank and Lisa Friedman It has been established that involvement in a religious community enhances quality of life for people with disabilities. Likewise, congregations are enriched when every member feels a true sense of belonging. Yet, even with this agreement in the value of disability inclusion, some congregations struggle to develop best practices around engaging individuals with a vast array of abilities. It is indeed a broad … [Read more...] about UJA-Fed NY Launches Digital Resource to Support Disability Inclusion in Congregational Life