Posts Tagged: Jewish Disabilities Awareness Month

Shaareinu: The “Collateral Good” Cannot be Overstated



By Eva Rubin Steen The leaders of Temple Beth Torah, a community that always has held inclusion and acceptance as core tenets, realized a few years ago that we were not doing a good job of welcoming those who face physical, emotional, or cognitive challenges. We recognized, too, that by excluding even one family member […]

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At URJ Camp Harlam, Creating a Community that Supports Everyone



by Cori Miller I recently heard about a beautiful woman who was known for, well, being beautiful. She was accustomed to being stared at and was repeatedly told, by strangers and loved ones alike, just how beautiful she was. While flattering, this constant focus on her appearance left her feeling judged solely on her looks, […]

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Striving for a Self-Determined Quality of Jewish Life for Jews with Disabilities



by Shelly Christensen “There comes a moment when you realize that what you’re advocating for is more than just accommodations. You’re really advocating for someone’s quality of life. That’s the moment you realize you won’t give up.” (Dyslexia Training Institute) Sometimes Facebook produces surprises, like this quote I recently found while scrolling mindlessly through my […]

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10 Ways to Celebrate Jewish Disability Awareness Month in Your Synagogue



With the start of February, so too begins Jewish Disability Awareness Month. Of course, there is nothing uniquely Jewish about disabilities, nor is there a greater need for inclusion in February than in any other month. So why observe Jewish Disability Awareness Month 2015 this February? We encourage Reform congregations to observe and participate in […]

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Jay Ruderman: Disability Issues are Issues of Social Justice



by Jay Ruderman Wikipedia defines social justice as, “the ability people have to realize their potential in the society where they live.” This definition can be broken down into three parts: realizing potential, in society, and where they live. For Jewish people with disabilities, each of these parts presents a challenge – and for the […]

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A Special Worship Service for Jews with Disabilities and Their Families



by Nancy Crown When I was called to meet with a member of my synagogue’s Congregation-Based Community Organizing Committee, I almost declined.  I was asked to think about what the temple could do that it was not already doing. My main reaction was to reflect on the many opportunities for learning, worship, and community that […]

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Join Me, Shayna, at Camp This Summer



by Shayna Simon My name is Shayna Simon I am 12 years old. I have attended Camp Chazak at URJ Eisner and Crane Lake in Massachusetts for the last 2 summers. This camp is for kids like me that may have some challenges and just need some direction to stay focused and enjoy this wonderful […]

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The Chadash Program – A New Path for Young Adults with Disabilities



And then we asked, “what’s next?” It seemed only right and necessary that Coleman would be part of the next stage in Gideon’s life journey. So, in partnership with Bobby Harris and the Coleman community that is our family home, the Chadash program has been born. “Chadash” means “new,” and this truly is a new opportunity, a new path – one that can help give young adults with disabilities tools and skills for life success.

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Jewish Disability Advocacy Day: A Big Success!



I spent yesterday on Capitol Hill for Jewish Disability Advocacy Day, which is an opportunity to learn about legislative issues of importance to individuals with disabilities and their families and to lobby members of Congress.  People came from all over the country and the day was an inspiring day of learning and advocating as a Jewish […]

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Turn Meaningful Reflection into Positive Action: A Look Back at Jewish Disability Awareness Month



It’s May. Can you believe it? Every year it seems to sneak up on me. But here it is. Most synagogues and Jewish professionals are at the point in the year that I typically call the “race to the finish line.” We are busy completing our program years, winding down religious schools and looking toward […]

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Including Teens on the ASD Spectrum



At NFTY Convention, we presented a program about inclusion of teens on the Autism Spectrum in our NFTY community. We take a moment to reflect on the program and our ongoing initiative.

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When it Comes to Full Inclusion, It’s Time to Make (Y)our Move



Most of the time I see the Jewish world through my Jewish Special educator lens. For me, last week’s NFTY Convention and Youth Engagement Conference were no exception. Three significant things happened: 1.  Rabbi Rick Jacobs spoke of special needs and Jewish Disability Awareness Month from the bimah on Shabbat morning.  He shared the bimah […]

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URJ & NFTY Presidents’ Joint D’var



Union for Reform Judaism President Rabbi Rick Jacobs and NFTY President Evan Traylor delivered a joint D’var Torah during Saturday morning T’fillah at last weekend’s NFTY Convention and Youth Engagement Conference, which run concurrently. An abridged text and full video of their address follows; you can also find the full text of Rabbi Jacobs Friday […]

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Imagining the Possibilities of Belonging



by Shelly Christensen In parashat Bo, “Moses held out his arm toward the sky and thick darkness descended upon all the land of Egypt for three days. People could not see one another. For three days no one could move about; but all the Israelites enjoyed light in their dwellings.” God hardened Pharoah’s heart again […]

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