New Initiative Aims To Make Jewish Schools More Inclusive And Accessible For All Students

Jewish Learning Venture’s ‘Whole Community Inclusion’ is excited to announce the launch of The Inclusion Specialists Network, a new
professional development opportunity focused on educators who work in congregational schools to support students who need extra learning, behavioral and/or emotional support.

Specialists will learn from each other, share resources and receive ongoing professional development from experts in the disability inclusion field. The Inclusion Specialists Network is made possible by a generous grant from the Janet and Alvin Schwartz Fund for Special Education.

In addition to professional development and ongoing communication with Whole Community Inclusion professionals, each participating congregation receives a $500 stipend to use towards their accessibility and inclusion efforts.

This network allows us to both emphasize the importance of hiring inclusion specialists in our congregational schools and also give direct support to those educators who are working most closely with students with disabilities and their families,” explains Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer, WCI Director. “It is a significant step towards the inclusion of all children in Jewish educational settings across the area.

Six congregations have been selected to participate in our second year. They are:

  • Ohev Shalom of Bucks County
  • Har Zion Temple, Penn Valley
  • Temple Beth Hillel-Beth El, Wynnewood
  • Tiferet Bet Israel, Blue Bell
  • Beth Or, Ambler
  • BTBJ, Erdenheim

I don’t have words to express how right this feels,” says Linda Satlow, one of the daughters of Janet and Alvin Schwartz (z’l). “My parents would be so proud. They were committed to synagogue life and had a particular wish that Jewish learning be available for any child.


The Inclusion Specialists Network is made possible by a generous grant from the Janet and Alvin Schwartz Fund for Special Education.