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 WCI Director
Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer, each participating congregation receives a $750
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 Rabbi Phil Warmflash, CEO of Jewish Learning
Venture. “It is a significant step towards the inclusion of all children in Jewish
educational settings across the area.”

Five congregations have been selected in this inaugural year. They are:
 Ohev Shalom of Bucks County
 Har Zion Temple, Penn Valley
 Main Line Reform Temple, Wynnewood
 Temple Beth Hillel-Beth El, Wynnewood
 Tiferet Bet Israel, Blue Bell

“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.