Tag Archives: Disability Rights

“You Shall Be Holy”–Parshat Kedoshim and Disability Rights

This morning, I had the privilege of the giving the d’var Torah at the quarterly Jewish Disability Network coalition meeting.  Below is the d’var I shared with the group of people gathered at the meeting.

This week, we read from Parshat Kedoshim, Leviticus 19:1-20:27.  The title of the parsha gives us some indication of what the portion is about—the word Kedoshim has as its root the word “Kadosh,” the Hebrew word for holy.  Parshat Kedoshim is all about the ways in which we are commanded to be holy.  Read more…

Why Talk about Disability Rights on Passover?

Moses is never mentioned in the Passover Haggadah.  At first glance, it’s a little strange that Moses’s name or involvement in the Exodus is never discussed in the Passover Haggadah.  I was taught that there is no mention of Moses for two reasons: (1) Because at our Seder, we want to remember the miracles performed by God and that God was ultimately responsible for our redemption and; (2) Because we are supposed to imagine ourselves as having gone out of Egypt and using Moses’ name places the Exodus at a certain point in history.  Whatever the reason, it’s an interesting omission to think about as we prepare for Passover.  Read more…

Annual Ruderman Prize in Inclusion Announced

The Ruderman Family Foundation recently announced the launch of the third annual Ruderman Prize in Inclusion global competition.  The Prize seeks to recognize organizations that have demonstrated their commitment to the full inclusion of people with disabilities into Jewish community through innovative programs and services.  They will be awarding $250,000 in prizes (five awards of $50,000) to Jewish organizations worldwide that celebrate full inclusion.    Read more…

Ensuring the Safety of Our Nation’s Students

A report from the U.S. Department of Education showed 66,000 cases of seclusion and restraint of students during the 2009-10 school year. This is a horrifying statistic, made even more horrifying by the conjecture of many experts that because only 18 states require that parents be notified when a child is restrained or secluded, the number of cases each year might actually be significantly higher.  Read more…

Jewish Disability Awareness Month Round Up

February 2014 marked the sixth annual Jewish Disability Awareness Month. Together we use this month to break down physical, communication, and attitudinal barriers, educate our communities on what accessibility and inclusion really mean, and reach out to Jews with disabilities.  The Reform Movement marked the month in several ways. Read more…

Jewish Disability Awareness Month: Silent Disabilities – How Supportive Are We?

This post originally appeared at ReformJudaism.org on February 28, 2014.

February is Jewish Disability Awareness Month (JDAM), a unified initiative to raise disability awareness and support efforts to foster inclusion in Jewish communities worldwide. TheUnion for Reform Judaism is proud to partner with the Ruderman Family Foundation to ensure full inclusion and participation of people with disabilities and their families in every aspect of Reform Jewish life.

Jewish Disability Awareness Month is a powerful reminder that we are all created b’tzelem Elohim(in God’s Image). We must keep all disabilities in mind, especially those that are “silent.” Mental health disease is very prevalent in the Jewish community, yet we often overlook it because the pain of living with it is not necessarily obvious. Those who live with mental health diseases suffer in silence. Read more…

Jewish Disability Awareness Month: My Family Loves Winter

This post originally appeared at WRJBlog on February 20, 2014.

By Rachel Maryn

My family loves winter. Just about every weekend between New Year’s and the end of February, you will find us practicing with the Montgomery County Maryland Special Olympics downhill ski team. My husband, Michael, is the head coach and my 23-year-old daughter, Sarah, is an athlete. We find working with Special Olympics rewarding in many ways. For Sarah, who was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder when she was three years old, it has opened up a new world where she has made friends and become more social.

Sarah has always enjoyed being around people, which is most unusual for someone with her diagnosis. She may not necessarily be interacting with those around her, but she definitely likes being in their company. Participating in Jewish life was her first experience in engaging with other people.

Photo Read more…

JDAM: Spotlight on Israel

As we near the end of the sixth annual Jewish Disability Awareness Month in the United States, we remember that people with disabilities live all throughout the world—some 650 million people worldwide are living with a disability, around 10% of the world’s population. One study from October 2012 from the Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute and Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics provides us with valuable information about people with disabilities in Israel, including: Read more…

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