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Nicole Olarsch

My Jewish experience was challenging in college. Something I was once so passionate about and looked forward to on a weekly basis slowly started to become something I dreaded. Due to the nature of my disabilities, the traditional ways of doing Jewish activities and prayers didn’t work for me. To be more specific, Friday night [click to continue...]

Simchat Torah (which translates to Rejoicing with the Torah in English) is a Jewish holiday which occurs at the end of Sukkot. Filled with music, dancing and beautiful imagery, it is a time of celebration that includes reading the end of Deuteronomy, the beginning of Genesis, and dancing in seven traditional Hakafot (circular dances) each [click to continue...]

I had not been familiar with Sukkot growing up, as my family did not celebrate and we did not live anywhere near a Synagogue. So the first time I experienced Sukkot was during my undergraduate experience at Hillel. Our assistant director at the time had offered me the task of drawing the Etrog and Lulav [click to continue...]

Phoenix, AZ, September 15 – This week, Oregon’s Workforce and Talent Development Board  met to discuss the status of workforce practices of the Beaver State. In response to this meeting, RespectAbility, a national nonpartisan nonprofit organization, submitted testimony on how to implement best practices, advocate for greater inclusion, and improve the standing of people with [click to continue...]

Every year on Yom Kippur, the most solemn Jewish holiday, “sin” and “repentance” are the key words stuck in my head. But for someone who is already experiencing depression and/or other mental illness, these themes can be extremely upsetting and even harmful to think about. For people like me who live with depression, especially when [click to continue...]

Aaron Wolf is an incredibly talented filmmaker, an award-winning actor, and an overall wonderful person! Aaron has created a multitude of films, ranging from The LD, which helped get him into film school, to the more well-known films Restoring Tomorrow and The Walk, to his recently released adventure-thriller TAR. These films are based on Aaron’s Jewish roots [click to continue...]

Lee and Nechama Chernotsky live in Los Angeles, California with their three kids. A homeschooling family for over 6 years now, Lee and Nechama worked hard for their kids to start their education at a Jewish Montessori, in which they are still active. Nechama, Lee’s wife and partner in purpose (soon to formally join the Speakers [click to continue...]

Erika Abbott is an intelligent woman and talented writer. Erika’s disability advocacy started in grade school, where she and some friends, eventually including fellow Speaking and Training Bureau member Aaron Seglin, formed the Disabled Posse. The idea, Erika explained, is “when you’re a kid, you are fearless,” and younger kids are more likely to ask [click to continue...]

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