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Speakers Bureau and Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month

Hi! It’s been a while since I have had the opportunity to write an article, but I know you’ve been seeing my name and email address a lot as we talk about opportunities to celebrate Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month (JDAIM) with events featuring RespectAbility’s Disability Training & Speakers Bureau (DTSB). Recently, we have been telling you about JDAIM and our past efforts. We have talked about the history and the procedure for booking a speaker, and even showcased our accessibility program options after the horrific treatment of Israeli Energy Minster, Karine Elharrar at the United Nations.

These are important things to share, but we have not yet shared with you our great success in our launch during JDAIM 2021. This was right at the beginning of my time with RespectAbility, and it was a real highlight, as it showcased both the strength of the Jewish inclusion movement, and the amazing breadth and capacity of our speakers.

We did dozens of events to rave reviews, so I know I’m not the only one who found it powerful. Tamar Bronstein of the Bay Area Friendship Circle wrote of Jen Fink, who spoke to them on mental health: “Jen’s vulnerability and authenticity captured the audience and engaged all who joined.” She continues “Jen brought …coping mechanisms [for mental health challenges] to the forefront and provided a space for people to share and feel comfortable – destigmatizing this important and relevant topic.” This sentiment was shared by Robert Lichtman, Chief Learning Officer of the Greater MetroWest Federation, who wrote “the relevant, accessible and inspiring Jewish content provided through the words and experiences of … [the speakers] touched every part of our hearts, minds and souls.”

Describing what is perhaps my favorite event, an evening which combined music and story with strong values, Beth Mitchell of the JCC of Central New Jersey writes that our team created “an evening of music, storytelling and comradery, expertly weaving in disability advocacy and relatable conversation along the way. Our diverse group of panelists…were both candid and engaging. The eve felt more like a conversation between friends than a professional production.  …  The partnership forged between our two organizations will last far beyond this event and I have no doubt that we will seek out partnership with RespectAbility in future collaborations.”

The fact is that whether you are looking for an informal conversation, or a formal presentation, or anything in between, our speakers can deliver. If these possibilities are as exciting to you as they are to me, reach out so we can talk about it. From now through the end of February, my main focus will be to make JDAIM 2022 even more impressive and meaningful than JDAIM 2021.

Whether you want to channel your existing passions, or bring in our speakers to ignite something new, I’m hoping that you will either complete the intake form or email me at JakeS@RespectAbility.org so we can figure out the specifics of your event and bring an unforgettable experience to your community. I look forward to hearing from you, and to the amazing events we will produce together.

Meet the Author

Jake Stimell

Jake Stimell graduated from Franklin & Marshall College with a BA in Psychology and a minor in Sociology. He previously worked in disability advocacy at the Invisible Disabilities Association.

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