Ruderman Family Foundation Awards $250,000 to Five Inclusion in Disability Innovators

Boston, MA August 17, 2015 - The Ruderman Family Foundation announced today the five winners of the fourth annual global Ruderman Prize in Inclusion competition. The Prize honors Jewish organizations who operate innovative programs and provide services that foster the full inclusion of people with disabilities in their local Jewish community. The winners are: Yavne Institute (Montevideo, Uruguay), Jewish Family Service Association of Cleveland (OH, U.S.), Kisharon’s Adult Employment Programme (U.K.), Room on the Bench (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and Beit Hillel (Ra’anana, Israel). Each winner will receive $50,000 to continue their work and pursue new opportunities for inclusion in their local communities. “As our worldwide Jewish community begins to accept and practice the value that all Jewish people have … [Read more...]

Why Every Philanthropist Should Be Active on Twitter

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By Jay Ruderman A fellow philanthropist recently confided in me that he’s never sure if his philanthropic dollars are making a difference. “Sometimes it feels like it’s all going down the drain,” he said. While he continually received from his grantees metrics, benchmarks, and data about how his dollars were being put to good use, he mused, “If I’ve really made such a big difference, why do there never seem to be any sustainable solutions?” Maybe the desperation for return on investment would be lessened if we philanthropists spent more time away from our Ivory Towers and more time with the end-users of our dollars, getting to know their challenges. Like all things worth doing, philanthropy requires getting your hands dirty. A good starting point would be for the philanthropist to interact … [Read more...]

Fighting for Independence

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By Ziv Azmanov An important part of my time is invested in a great program called A3i. This is the world’s first startup accelerator that is solely dedicated to improving the lives of people with disabilities. The purpose of A3i is to encourage and assist entrepreneurs to realize their ideas that aim to solve problems, and address the important needs of people with disabilities. The goal is to create a more inclusive society where people with special needs can lead a normal life like each and every one of us. I serve this program as a member of its steering committee, as well as a mentor to some of the entrepreneurs. It’s one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had in my life. It’s so refreshing and inspiring to meet entrepreneurs that really want to make a difference. That are not … [Read more...]

CJP and the Ruderman Family Foundation Launch $3m. Fund to Support Inclusion at Jewish Day Schools

Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP) is partnering with the Ruderman Family Foundation to create the Morton E. Ruderman Inclusion Scholarship Fund to help make Jewish day schools more accessible and affordable for children with disabilities. The $3 million in new funding, paid out over five years, will allow Greater Boston day schools to significantly defray the cost of special education services (both school-based and ancillary services), for students of families in need of financial aid. The funding will also support a new program aimed at building day school teacher capacity to more effectively serve all students, including those with special learning needs. The Response to Intervention (or RTI) program will involve up to five day school pilot sites throughout Greater Boston. It will be … [Read more...]

TOM:TLV Harnesses Cutting-Edge Technology to Design Affordable Aids for Disabled

This system allows people who are paralyzed from the neck down to turn pages in a book. Photo courtesy ZOA Productions.

Dozens of innovators and makers gathered in Tel Aviv last week for TOM:TLV, a three-day technology marathon where participants built models and prototypes of aids for people with disabilities. The organizers intend to develop these products further, making them available for widespread use in the near future. TOM:TLV brought together technologists, designers, therapists, and people with disabilities who developed ideas and products that address the challenges of people living with disabilities, their family members, and health-care professionals. The make-a-thon took place in a specially designed workspace at Tel Aviv port’s Hangar 11 and featured advanced technology including: 3D printers, laser-cutting machines, and CNC machines (computer-operated milling devices). The closing event … [Read more...]

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

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The Ruderman Family Foundation has announced the launch of the fourth annual Ruderman Prize in Inclusion global competition. The Prize aims to recognize organizations around the world 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. “Innovative organizations in the global Jewish community are leading the way in promoting the full inclusion of people with disabilities in our society,” said Jay Ruderman, President of the Ruderman Family Foundation. “We believe that by recognizing the most creative and impactful of these organizations through the Ruderman Prize in Inclusion that our Jewish community will be inspired by their … [Read more...]

The Case for Camp Inclusion

By Jeremy J. Fingerman There’s no denying the rich, joyous, and stimulating experience of Jewish summer camp; research proves it contributes to Jewish identity, strengthens the Jewish community and fosters Jewish leadership. At Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC), we believe camp must also reflect the diversity of today’s Jewish community and be accessible for everyone. Jewish camps should strive to create an environment which fosters growth for its campers and college aged counselors. Everyone benefits from an inclusive camp community, which has a culture that embraces and recognizes diversity. We encourage camp environments where each camper, regardless of whether or not they have a disability, is given what they need to succeed at camp, in an environment in which everyone can learn from … [Read more...]

Foundation for Jewish Camp Awarded New Grants for Day and Overnight Camping

URJ Six Points Sports Academy; courtesy URJ.

The Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC) has received four new grants to pilot innovative programs supporting both overnight and day camps. Consistent with FJC’s new strategic plan, these four grants have been developed as scalable models that can be expanded as additional funding at the national and local levels becomes available. The first two grants will support overnight camps. New Camp Accelerator: Based on the continued success of FJC’s Specialty Camp Incubators, funded by The Jim Joseph and The AVI CHAI Foundations, FJC has created the “New Camp Accelerator”, designed to provide a platform and structure for the continued growth of the field. The Accelerator will fast-track the creation of new camps, encouraging and leveraging significant local investment with FJC’s well-honed consulting … [Read more...]