By Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer, Director, Whole Community Inclusion
February was a busy, energized, engaging month full of activities connected to Jewish Disability Awareness & Inclusion Month from Jewish Learning Venture’s “Whole Community Inclusion” initiative.
I want to take this moment to thank all of our partners and participants who are working with us to raise awareness about disability inclusion is our Jewish communities. Some highlights of the month include:
New this year was “JDAIM Shabbat Across Philadelphia.” The Jewish Special Needs/Disability Inclusion Consortium of Greater Philadelphia invited synagogues across the area to dedicate a Shabbat this month to focusing on disability inclusion issues. We are so proud of and grateful to our ten congregations who participated in our pilot year! They are:
Ohev Shalom of Bucks County Inclusion B’KavodAdath Israel on the Main Line Old York Road Temple-Beth Am Temple Beth Hillel-Beth El -Our House, Your Home Mishkan Shalom Congregation Kol Ami, Elkins Park, PA Kol Tzedek Synagogue Congregation Beth Or Temple Sholom in Broomall and Germantown Jewish Centre.
In addition, the consortium created two resources for our synagogues and schools that were widely used:
I was personally delighted to attend Jewish Disability Advocacy Day in Washington with a number of consortium members as well as a wonderful inclusion lunch with violinist Itzhak Perlman. Additionally, I was delighted that an Op-Ed written by our WCI consultants Jaime Bassman, Rabbi Michelle Greenfield and Rabbi Margo Stein and I was shared in last week’s Jewish Exponent—if you haven’t had a chance to read it yet, check it out here.
We have more exciting Whole Community Inclusion events coming in March and hope to see you soon!