Families raising children with disabilities face a number of obstacles to full inclusion in Jewish communal and educational settings.
As part of our signature initiative, Whole Community Inclusion, Jewish Learning Venture applies a lens of disability inclusion to all of our work in order to empower families raising children with disabilities to make Judaism meaningful and relevant for themselves. We provide programs for families and parents through jkidaccess and we help early childhood and congregational educators and teen aids become increasingly more inclusive of children with disabilities.
why it matters
1 in 5 people have some kind of disability – physical, developmental, learning-based, a mental health issue, or a combination of disabilities. Unfortunately, families raising children with disabilities too often struggle to find accessible and inclusive Jewish experiences. Jewish Learning Venture believes that every family raising Jewish children should be supported to find inclusive Jewish experiences where they can make Judaism meaningful and relevant for themselves.
Through Whole Community Inclusion, Jewish Learning Venture is ensuring that the support and accommodations needed for full inclusion are available to families and organizations alike, by:
Offering accessible sensory-friendly Jewish programming to all families through jkidaccess and working with parents of children with disabilities to help them adapt Jewish practices and find communal supports;
Training educators in early childhood and congregational schools to support students with disabilities and their families;
Empowering congregational leaders to more effectively include and support individuals with disabilities and their families; and
Advocating on behalf of families raising children with disabilities through the Jewish Disability Inclusion Consortium of Greater Philadelphia, a host of initiatives during Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month (JDAIM), and other communal gathering opportunities.
HOW WE CAN HELP YOU
For families raising children with disabilities
Check out jkidACCESS for resources, sensory-friendly holiday celebrations, mitzvah project events, and more. We also have a series of online seminars for parents who would like help adapting Jewish practices to their children’s needs. To learn more, contact Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer.
Whole Community Inclusion provides workshops, coaching and customized support to help you meet the needs of your students of every ability. We also run the only B’nai Mitzvah Tutor Training in the country and train high school students to work as disability inclusion aids in congregational schools through the Teens/Teen Assistant Program. Contact WCI Director, Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer, to learn about how you can bring WCI’s services to your school or community.
For clergy and synagogue leaders
In addition to the B’nai Mitzvah Tutor Training workshops, we provide resources and support for clergy, and work with leaders to establish and sustain synagogue inclusion committees. Contact WCI Director, Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer, to learn about how you can bring WCI’s services to your school or community
For Community Members
Check out the Jewish Disability Inclusion Consortium of Greater Philadelphia and the Jewish Disability Awareness & Inclusion Month (JDAIM) resources, including JDAIM Shabbat Across Philadelphia.
Whole Community Inclusion provides so many important resources, events, and services. Keep up with us on our calendar and our monthly WCI newsletter.
Contact WCI Director, Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer, to learn more about how Jewish Learning Venture can support you, your family, and your organization.