Skip Navigation
Image of people smiling in a recording studio.

Jewish Inclusion

Partner Spotlight: Ramah Tikvah

Logo for Ramah Tikvah NetworkRamah is the camping arm of Conservative Judaism. The mission of the Ramah Camping Movement is to create and sustain excellent summer camps and Israel programs that inspire commitment to Jewish life, and develop the next generation of Jewish leaders. At Ramah, thousands of children, teens, and young adults come together each summer in communities that nurture social, educational, physical, and spiritual growth, creating lifelong friendships, a love for Israel, and a strong Jewish identity.

Since the first Ramah Tikvah program opened in 1970, the Ramah Camping Movement has been a pioneer in the inclusion of Jewish campers with disabilities. The Tikvah Program, now operating in all Ramah camps across North America, meaningfully and seamlessly includes Jewish children, teens, and young adults with a wide range of developmental, intellectual, physical, social, and emotional disabilities in all aspects of camp life—including prayer services, singing, dancing, swimming, arts, camping trips, electives and more.  Camps also offer vocational training and employment for young adults with disabilities.  Tikvah’s full participation in camp continues to lead to meaningful friendships, a sense of belonging and a greater appreciation for all of God’s creations.

Director of RespectAbility California and Jewish Leadership Matan Koch Featured in Series on Jews With Disabilities, “What Do You Pray For?”

Short film series explores the intersection of disability and prayer in the Jewish community


Los Angeles, May 17, 2021 – Matan Koch, the Director of RespectAbility California and Jewish Leadership in RespectAbility who is a wheelchair user, stars in his own segment of “What Do You Pray For?” The film was made by Ben Rosloff, a talented emerging filmmaker on the Autism spectrum who serves as a Jewish Inclusion Fellow in RespectAbility’s National Leadership Program. [continue reading…]

“Standing at Sinai”

I was privileged to deliver the following in a “sermon slam” for the Jewish holiday of Shavuot a few years ago. The holiday of Shavuot, literally translated as weeks, is celebrated 7 weeks after Passover, to celebrate the Revelation at Mount Sinai. Tradition teaches that every Jew, past, present, and future, stood together at Sinai at that moment.  It’s depicted as a scary, loud moment with the mountain suspended over our heads. It is a foundational narrative of the Jewish people. As such, we slammers were asked to remark on the idea of “Standing at Sinai.” I chose to explore the experience of pervasive standing metaphors for the non-ambulatory, the unsatisfying resolutions by some, and my own empowering understanding. [continue reading…]

Journalist Justin Borses Featured in Series on Jews With Disabilities, “What Do You Pray For?”

Short film series explores the intersection of disability and prayer in the Jewish community


Los Angeles, May 13, 2021 – Justin Borses, a journalist with cerebral palsy who works at Moorpark University, stars in his own segment of “What Do You Pray For?” The film was made by Ben Rosloff, a talented emerging filmmaker on the Autism spectrum who serves as a Jewish Inclusion Fellow in RespectAbility’s National Leadership Program. [continue reading…]

Attorney Ariella Barker Featured in Series on Jews With Disabilities, “What Do You Pray For?”

Short film series explores the intersection of disability and prayer in the Jewish community


Los Angeles, May 13, 2021 – Ariella Barker, an attorney, policy advisor, and communication specialist who was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, stars in her own segment of “What Do You Pray For?” The film was made by Ben Rosloff, a talented emerging filmmaker on the Autism spectrum who serves as a Jewish Inclusion Fellow in RespectAbility’s National Leadership Program. [continue reading…]

Aaron Seglin: A Blind Jewish Musician, A Dedicated Teacher, a Mensch

This perspective is a little different than what we usually publish. One of our talented speakers, Aaron Seglin, has an amazing story to tell, but spoken word and music, more than the written word, are his chosen media. In order to share his story with you, he set down with one of our Fellows, Ben Rosloff, to talk about his life and his passion. Ben, along with Samantha Haas, another Jewish inclusion Fellow, wrote this article to share his perspective. Enjoy!

Aaron Seglin smiling headshot

Aaron Seglin

Aaron Seglin is a blind Jewish musician, Growing up in West Orange, New Jersey, his story is not only one of overcoming stigma and barriers, but of a tremendous level of musical accomplishment, talent and skill.

Growing up, Seglin had parents who supported his interest of music. His father was an instrumentalist who had a big part in his talent. He provided instruments for Seglin to try out. However, he passed away when Seglin was young. Seglin’s mother taught fine art which helped expose Seglin to those art skills. Once his father passed away, his grandmother and brother played music with Seglin. His mother was amazed when she noticed that her son could harmonize while playing the piano at the same time. He also could take what he heard on the radio and play it on his own without knowing the notes. Seglin became familiar with three or four families of instruments but felt so passionate about the harmonica that he now teaches it to young people. [continue reading…]

Partner Spotlight: Edlavitch D.C. Jewish Community Center

logo for Edlavitch DCJCCThe Edlavitch D.C. Jewish Community Center (EDCJCC) has a long history of inclusion and acceptance. Since its initial creation in 1911, the DCJCC welcomed members of the Jewish community from all backgrounds. The building had extensive renovations in 2019 and is now accessible to all who enter its doors. In 2016, the Center was renamed in honor of Ginny and Irwin Edlavitch, long time philanthropists and community leaders. EDCJCC’s values include Judaism, community, teamwork, diversity, personal development, responsibility, excellence and hospitality. Each of those values make the EDCJCC an inclusive, welcoming and accepting community. [continue reading…]

Hoping To Still Be Seen For Who I Am After Sharing A Nonvisible Disability

Joshua Steinberg headshot wearing a suit and tie

Joshua Steinberg

I am a person with disabilities. Mine are nonvisible, and because of that, it is not immediately obvious to others that I have disabilities, but they are there. However, even though I have disabilities I want the same things as other people. I want a good job, a house, a nice car, a vacation, and I want to fall in love and get married. It has always been difficult to determine when the right time is to disclose that you have a disability when you are talking to someone new. [continue reading…]

Dating With A Disability In The Jewish World

An earlier version of this article appeared on the website Kol Birah, which has since gone out of business. It has been lightly updated and reposted with the permission of the author.

Ariella Barker smiling headshot. Barker is a white woman with blonde hair down past her shoulders who uses a wheelchair

Ariella Barker

14 years ago, I appeared in front of the Rabbinical Council of America to gain their permission to officially convert to Judaism. The Rabbi asked me one pointed, unforgettable question: “As a [non-Jew], you are able to marry most anyone in the world. Why would you convert and limit yourself to less than 2 percent of the population?” For me, the answer was simple. I only wished to marry a Jewish man and to raise my children with Jewish values. If I remained a non-Jew, I would be unable to marry anyone. Alas, over a decade later, I am still unmarried.

Before joining the Jewish community, despite my disability, I rarely struggled to find a partner. But once I was Jewish, and I was dating with the purpose of marriage, my love life changed dramatically. [continue reading…]

Partner Spotlight: ROSIES Foundation

Logo for ROSIES FoundationROSIES, which stands for Removing Obstacles, Supporting Initiative, Encouraging Solutionaries, was started by Chief Encouragement Officer Lee Chernotsky and founding board chair Jeffrey Sobrato. It is an organization that works to create opportunities for people with disabilities to engage and work. Focusing on people with disabilities who are passionate about encouraging themselves and others, highlighting their individual strengths, and providing a platform for learning, growth, and working together, ROSIES’ impact is made by the people it serves through accessible employment, disability advocacy, and learning opportunities in two core programs. [continue reading…]

1 2 3 14 15
Respect Ability - Fighting Stigmas. Advancing Opportunities.

CONTACT US

East Coast: 11333 Woodglen Drive, #102, Rockville, MD 20852

West Coast: 5115 Wilshire Blvd, #231, Los Angeles, CA 90036

Office Number: 202-517-6272

Email: info@respectability.org

GUIDESTAR PLATINUM

RespectAbility and The RespectAbility Report is a GuideStar Platinum Participant. GuideStar Platinum Participant Logo
© 2021 RESPECTABILITY. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. SITE DESIGN BY COOL GRAY SEVEN   |   SITE DEVELOPMENT BY WEB SYMPHONIES   |      SITEMAP
Translate »