Ruderman Family Foundation Announces $250,000 Global Innovators in Inclusion Competition

Prize in inclusion logo

The Ruderman Family Foundation today announced the launch of the third annual Ruderman Prize in Inclusion global competition. The Prize recognizes organizations who have demonstrated their commitment to the full inclusion of people with disabilities into the Jewish community through innovative programs and services. The $250,000 prize will be split equally by five organizations. “Our foundation is seeking to recognize and award excellence in the inclusion of people with disabilities in our Jewish community around the globe,” said Jay Ruderman, President of the Ruderman Family Foundation. “It is our hope that by shining a light on the leaders in inclusion in our community that we will encourage other organizations to follow their lead and effectuate lasting change. We believe that a more … [Read more...]

Jerusalem Conference Seeks Self-Empowerment of People with Disabilities

by Josh Hasten Wheelchair-bound Yoav Kreim - a well-known leader and spokesperson for people with disabilities in Israel for more than 20 years - has led demonstrations, lobbied members of Knesset to pass legislation, and helped shape public opinion. Therefore, it was no surprise that Kreim was one of the lead participants and facilitators at the recent 2nd annual Israel Self-Advocacy Conference in Jerusalem. “There is a great need to allow weaker voices in the population to be heard,” Kreim said. “People have a lot to say; they just need to be given the chance.” Israel Elwyn and Beit Issie Shapiro, two leading organizations in Israel for providing disability services and advocating for disability rights, were behind the late-January conference for people with developmental … [Read more...]

@URJ Biennial, Jay Ruderman: “Disabilities Is a Civil Rights Issue”

by Robert Evans and Avrum Lapin In the weeks since the mid-December 2013 Biennial of the Reform Movement, there’s been plenty of discussion about how synagogues can develop new, more effective methods to make themselves more welcoming and accepting. At the same time, finding new and/or different approaches to attracting more households to affiliated congregations are (hopefully) uppermost in the minds of leaders and have become a major focus of congregational board room discussions. Yet, surprisingly to us, fundraising, which not only brings in critical financial support but is also a strong tool for building connections and love of Judaism, received less attention at the convention than it deserved. Our observation about the full and extensive programming at the Biennial, one of the largest … [Read more...]

Five Federations to Participate in New Disability Employment Initiative

The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) are joining with the Ruderman Family Foundation to place young adults with disabilities in internships and fellowships at five Federations as well as in JFNA’s Washington office. Through the Ruderman Family Foundation Opportunity Initiative, each of the five federations will lead its own search to fill positions specially designed for their individual offices. In addition to JFNA’s Washington, DC office, the following federations have been selected to participate in this new initiative: The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore; The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles; the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ; the Minneapolis Jewish Federation; and UJA-Federation of New York. Each of the five participating federations … [Read more...]

My Father and Our Legacy

by Jay Ruderman How a family decides to choose their philanthropic agenda is both complex and at the same time fairly straight forward. The complexity arises from the varied dynamics of each individual family. As my friend Jeff Solomon has said, "Once you know one foundation, you know one foundation." We each have our own internal family relationships based on our history as a family. How a family decides to work with each other and decides which issues are important to them can be complicated and even stressful at times. However, any family which decides to engage in strategic philanthropy is seeking to achieve maximum social impact on the issues they espouse. Our family chose to advocate for the full inclusion of people with disabilities because my father fundamentally believed that it is … [Read more...]

Inaugural Morton E. Ruderman Award in Inclusion Announced

In continuing its commitment to and advocacy for inclusion of people with disabilities into society, the Ruderman Family Foundation has announced that it will award the inaugural Morton E. Ruderman Award in Inclusion to Dr. Michael Stein, Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School. The award recognizes an individual who has made an extraordinary contribution to the inclusion of people with disabilities in the Jewish world and the greater public. The $100,000 award is based on past achievements and the potential for future contributions to the field. A three-person Nominating Committee identified a highly selective pool of candidates to recommend. The Trustees of the Ruderman Family Foundation made the final selection of Dr. Stein. Michael Stein is Co-founder and Executive Director of the Harvard … [Read more...]