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Bio – Speakers Bureau LA Jewish

Charlie Kramer

RespectAbility’s National Disability Speakers Bureau

  • Disability Status: Legally Blind (Retinitis Pigmentosa – RP)
  • Marginalized Identities: Jewish
  • Occupation: Speaker, Coach, Musical Artist
  • Topics:
    • Disability & Inclusion: Through his personal story, Charlie shares the importance of
      inclusion and breaks down barriers and stigmas surrounding the disability community.
    • Radical Self-Acceptance: Through the lens of his own journey, Charlie teaches the step-by-step process of radical self-acceptance, and how to build a foundation for the life of your dreams. It all begins with accepting who you are at your core.
    • Singing in the Dark: The blindfolded singing and healing experience: Charlie guides
      participants into a world without their eyes, and shows them the beauty that can only be
      seen within you, and not around you.

[continue reading…]

Shlomo Meyers

RespectAbility’s National Disability Speakers Bureau

  • Disability Status: Down Syndrome
  • Marginalized Identity: Jewish
  • Occupation: School/Classroom Assistant
  • Topics:
    • Friendship
    • Shabbos and the Community
    • The Importance of Home
Shlomo Meyers smiling headshot on the beach with the ocean behind him

Shlomo Meyers

Shlomo Meyers was born in Manhasset, New York on December 6, 1985 with Down Syndrome. He is the middle child in a family of seven children.  Meyers currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Danielle.

Meyers moved to Illinois when he was eight years old, where he would go on to graduate from Ida Crown Jewish Academy and spend part of the following year in a job training/skills building program through Keshet, a program providing services for individuals with disabilities. [continue reading…]

Emily Borses

RespectAbility’s National Disability Speakers Bureau

  • Disability Status: Anxiety Disorder
  • Marginalized Identity: Lesbian
  • Occupation: full time student, aspiring filmmaker
  • Topics:
    • Mental Health (how trauma impacted my life, the physical/emotional symptoms I experience during an anxiety/panic attack, how I keep myself grounded)
    • Sexuality (my coming out experience, how that has impacted my mental health, and how that experience shaped me into the person I am today)
    • Religion (my struggles with identifying as being a Jewish woman; how that has contributed to my anxiety disorder)
Emily Borses smiling headshot

Emily Borses

Emily Borses is 21 years old and lives in Los Angeles, California. For as long as she can remember, she has lived with anxiety, but wasn’t officially diagnosed until her junior year of high school. As a child she often felt like she had no voice and no way to express herself. She floated from person to person and group to group never really feeling like she fit in anywhere. [continue reading…]

Justin Borses

RespectAbility’s National Disability Speakers Bureau

Justin Borses smiling wearing a headset and suit and tie while covering a game

Justin Borses

Justin Borses is a Broadcaster and Journalist for Moorpark College with experience in sports and writing for the Moorpark Reporter. He has covered football and basketball for the school. One of the most influential parts of his life, however, has to do with his disability identity. He was born with Cerebral Palsy on February 19th, 2000.

[continue reading…]

Erika Abbott

RespectAbility’s National Disability Speakers Bureau

Erika Abbott smiling headshot

Erika Abbott

Erika Abbott is a native of Manhattan and was raised in Montclair, NJ. She began her advocacy very early in life as the ringleader of the disabled posse, the small group of children that had varying disabilities at her school. Though she was young, Ms. Abbott perceived the absurdity and poignance of their challenges. Abbott was never picked first for any team sport, but had there been a Reading Olympics, she certainly would have won!

Abbott is an award-winning poet for her debut book, PORGY’S REVENGE, which is available in several libraries across the country. The book is endorsed by Tom Hanks, “These poems are from the soul, personal and particular. they are not from us, but speak of us….” and Olympia Dukakis, “PORGY’S REVENGE contains the unique writings of an extraordinary poet-a story-teller both in content and in style.” As Abbott’s publisher asserts: “her imagery haunts, one that readers will not soon forget, even when the collection is closed.” Her poetry speaks volumes, challenging us and pushing us just as great art should.

Read an article about Abbott in The Montclair Times.

Read some of Abbott’s poetry in our Shabbat Smile.

[continue reading…]

Alex Howard

RespectAbility’s National Disability Speakers Bureau

Alexander Howard smiling headshot

Alexander Howard

Growing up in Los Angeles, Alex Howard visited various famous filming locations like the LA River in Northridge, where Arnold Schwarzenegger rode his motorcycle in Terminator 2: Judgement Day. That trip was a defining moment in his childhood, sparking his fascination with movies and the mind-bending stories they can tell. Howard earned a Bachelor’s degree in Cinema and Television from California State University, Northridge in 2015. While in College, he was a brother of the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity. He has had several internships, including KTTV, Atmosphere Entertainment and Phoenix Pictures where he worked for producer Mike Medavoy. While interning, Howard fell in love with the development process. He believes the core of every good piece of entertainment is a solid, compelling and interesting story. Most recently, Howard was a temp for Warner Brothers on long-term assignment at DC Comics and a part-time film critic intern for mxdwn.com. This past summer, he was invited to participate in RespectAbility’s Summer 2020 Lab for Entertainment Professionals. [continue reading…]

Lisa Sage

RespectAbility’s National Disability Speakers Bureau

Lisa Sage smiling headshot

Lisa Sage

Lisa Sage was born in Michigan and moved to California when she was five and a half years old, almost six years old.  She then grew up in Palm Springs, CA, and graduated high school. She then went to UC Riverside and earned her Bachelor’s degree in Human Development and graduated in four years. She then went on to California State University, Northridge, where she earned her Master’s degree in Public Health. She then had some volunteer jobs and part-time jobs before getting her full-time job as a Health Educator for the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services. [continue reading…]

Lee Chernotsky

RespectAbility’s National Disability Speakers Bureau

Lee Chernotsky headshot

Lee Chernotsky

Lee Chernotsky is the founder & CEO (Chief Encouragement Officer) of ROSIES foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization that generates opportunities for people with diverse abilities to engage and work. He holds an MBA in nonprofit management and has been a leader in disability advocacy and education for over 20 years. Lee currently serves on the Advisory board of RespectAbility Los Angeles and the board of the Culver City Arts Business Improvement District. He is a sought-after speaker on accessibility, creativity, mental health, and social enterprise across industries. [continue reading…]

Aaron Wolf

RespectAbility’s National Disability Speakers Bureau

Aaron Wolf headshot

Aaron Wolf

Award-winning actor, director, speaker, and activist, Aaron Wolf uses his creative voice to tell stories from the heart, that entertain and matter. He is co-founder of Howling Wolf Productions. Some of his work includes the Academy Award® shortlisted film Restoring Tomorrow, award-winning films Guest House, starring Michael Gross and Heather Lind, and The Walk, starring Wolf and Emmy nominee Peter Riegert.

Having toured around the country with his feature, Restoring Tomorrow, Wolf’s personal journey of rediscovery comes alive in this extraordinary story of a treasured Hollywood landmark and local temple built by the original Hollywood moguls, near demise, and a community’s determination to achieve the impossible. [continue reading…]

Matan Koch

RespectAbility’s National Disability Speakers Bureau

Matan Koch headshot

Matan Koch

Matan A. Koch is the Director of RespectAbility California and Jewish Leadership at RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities for and with people with disabilities. A longtime national leader in disability advocacy and a wheelchair user himself, he leads Project Moses, RespectAbility’s Los Angeles-based Jewish leadership project, and is also on the front lines in many other areas of RespectAbility’s work, including: disability inclusion in philanthropy and nonprofits, Jewish outreach and impact, leadership, legal affairs and our continuing Los Angeles expansion. [continue reading…]

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