Making your event accessible is easier than you think. This session gave a simple accessibility checklist, as well as the processes and confidence that you need to make all of your events accessible, both virtual, and in person!
- Dori Kirshner – Matan
- Rebecca Wanatick – Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ
- Lauren Appelbaum – RespectAbility Vice President, Communications
Jewish organizations, leaders and activists are invited to a free online training series so they can learn how to welcome, respect and include people with disabilities from all backgrounds in the important work that they do.
The entire series is offered online and for free. All sessions include American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters and captions, and will be screen reader accessible. To request a copy of the accessible PowerPoint prior to the session or any additional accommodations required to participate, please email JoshuaS@RespectAbility.org.
Dori Kirshner has served as Matan’s Exectuive Director since 2009. Under Dori’s leadership, Matan has shifted from a purely direct service organization to one which significantly impacts the field of Jewish disability inclusion by training current and future leaders in a multitude of settings and by conducting capacity-building community consultations across North America. Dori believes that 85% of what we do as a Jewish community vis a vis inclusion can be summed up in one word: Attitude. With an open heart, open mind, and a willingness to partner with parents and other professionals, we can all be part of the solution of making inclusion a normative reality. Prior to coming to Matan, Dori worked at The UJA-Federation of New York for seven years, in both planning and fundraising capacities. Dori began her professional career at The Solomon Schechter School of Manhattan as a bi-lingual educator (Hebrew and English). Dori holds a Masters of Arts in Education from The Jewish Theological Seminary of America and a BA in Sociology and Judaic Studies from Emory University. Dori is a sought-after national speaker on the issue of Jewish inclusion, and has published articles and Op-Ed’s in publications including The New York Jewish Week and ejewishphilanthropy.
Rebecca Wanatick received her Master’s Degree in Special Education from Boston University and a Bachelor’s Degree in both Elementary and Special Education from University of Hartford. She has been engaged in the field of special education since she was old enough to volunteer her time; she has held roles as an educator, camp division head and inclusion coordinator. Rebecca is presently employed by Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ, in her 12th year as the Manager of Community Inclusion. She staffs the agency’s department, Greater MetroWest ABLE (Access, Belonging and Life Enrichment for People with Disabilities and Their Families), engaging families, synagogues and agencies in the Greater MetroWest community in creating a community that is accessible to all members. Greater MetroWest ABLE envisions a community made whole through the active and meaningful participation of all of its members, with opportunities for access to every aspect of Jewish life. As Manager of Community Inclusion, Rebecca serves as a facilitator between the families and Greater MetroWest support agencies, helping to make connections and raise the level of inclusive programming, community-wide. She coordinates both family and educator workshops, advocate training for teens, babysitting training programs for teens interested in working with children with disabilities, engages with synagogue inclusion committees, and provides outreach and advocacy resources for individuals with disabilities and their families in the community.
Lauren Appelbaum is the Vice President, Communications, at RespectAbility. She brings more than 15 years of experience in strategic and crisis communications, writing, video and web production, news gathering and social media to the disability agenda. Previously she was a digital researcher with the NBC News political unit, where she worked with Chuck Todd and Andrea Mitchell. Read more about Lauren Appelbaum.
Avodah, B’nai David-Judea Congregation, Builders of Jewish Education: JKidLA, Congregation B’nai Amoona, Congregation B’nai Emet, Congregation Kol Ami, Congregation Or Ami, Edlavitch DCJCC, Foundation for Jewish Camp, Gateways: Access to Jewish Education, Hebrew Union College, IKAR, Institute on Theology and Disability, Jewish Federations of North America, Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ – Greater MetroWest ABLE, Jewish Los Angeles Special Needs Trust and Services, Jewish Residential Services, JQ International, JVS SoCal, Jewish Women International (JWI), Keshet: For LGBTQ equality in Jewish life, Keshet Chicago, Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah, Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan, Matan, Moment Magazine, National Ramah Tikvah Network, Ohr HaTorah Synagogue, OurSpace LA, Reconstructing Judaism, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, ROSIES Foundation, Shalhevet, Shalom Institute, Stephen Wise Temple, Temple Adat Elohim, T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, The Jewish Journal, The Miracle Project, The New Normal, The Women’s Rabbinic Network, Union for Reform Judaism, USCJ, Whole Community Inclusion at Jewish Learning Venture, Yachad Los Angeles, Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School
This series is made possible by support from the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles through a Cutting Edge Grant, The Diane & Guilford Glazer Philanthropies, The David Berg Foundation, the Stanford and Joan Alexander Foundation, Stanley & Joyce Black Family Foundation, and The Beverly Foundation.