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Faith Inclusion Webinars

Community Connectedness and Technology

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Throughout the pandemic, technology solutions provided opportunities for people with I/DD and their families to participate in what used to be inaccessible activities and environments. Today, tools such as virtual platforms, communication technologies, connected communities, and cognitively accessible solutions are applied in innovative ways to decrease loneliness and provide ways for individuals to access religious and spiritual environments. Our presenters discussed the utilization of technology solutions across domains and innovative approaches spiritual leaders are using to reach new audiences and allow greater participation from people with I/DD. [continue reading…]

From Assessment to Participation – Supporting Individual Preferences to Find Their Faith Community

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How do you determine ways to support individual spiritual and religious preferences? Evergreen Life Services has developed its own spiritual assessment practice. This presentation described how Evergreen utilizes its successful approach to support an individual’s preferences and participation in their chosen spiritual and religious expressions. The assessments include targeted questions that help create a pathway for providers to support individual religious and spiritual preferences and practices. The presenters from Evergreen shared the stories of peoples’ journeys to belong to their chosen faith communities. [continue reading…]

Bible Study with St. Luke’s Episcopal Church + RespectAbility

Bible Study with St. Luke's Episcopal Church and RespectAbility. Photo of St. Luke's with a red banner outside reading "sanctuary for all"Here at RespectAbility, we hope to destigmatize disability in all realms of life. In the Faith Inclusion and Belonging department particularly, our work is in making all houses of worship across all faiths places where disabled people belong and thrive. RespectAbility, in partnership with St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Long Beach, California, hosted a 5-session, weekly online study on disability in Jewish and Christian scripture. [continue reading…]

Matan Koch and Rabbi Charles Sherman

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Matan Koch met with Rabbi Charles Sherman of Melrose B’nai Israel Emanu-El, a small congregation in Pennsylvania with a dedicated Disability Inclusion Committee. Rabbi Sherman asked intriguing questions that prompted Matan to share about his disability, his experience as a Rabbi’s son, and his journey through the world of Jewish inclusion.

Sinai Temple + RespectAbility: A Conversation About Jewish Disability Inclusion

Join Sinai Temple and RespectAbility for a conversation about Jewish disability inclusion! Hear from filmmaker and actor Aaron Wolf and poet Erika Abbott about their experiences as Jews with disabilities. Following their reflections, there was a Q&A session led by Rabbi Erez Sherman from Sinai Temple.

Headshots of Erika Abbott, Rabbi Erez Sherman, and Aaron Wolf.

Jewish Funders Network – Unprecedented New Findings on Jews with Disabilities: What Does It Mean for the Future?


Jewish Funders Network hosted an exclusive presentation and facilitated discussion that covered the results of three major new studies on Jewish disability inclusion in the workforce. They discussed:

  • Successful models from Jewish human service agencies for increasing employment for people with disabilities;
  • What Leading Edge has learned about Jews and others with disabilities who work at Jewish organizations and where progress has been made;
  • Findings from RespectAbility’s major study on the inclusion of Jews with disabilities inside Jewish groups;
  • Big picture takeaways on where we go from here so that Jews and others with disabilities can thrive both inside and out of Jewish institutions.

[continue reading…]

“Leaders of the Future” – Accessible Events: Both In-Person and Online

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Although 72 percent of nonprofit organizations say they have a policy of nondiscrimination against people with disabilities, too few take simple steps to make their programming truly accessible. For example, fewer than 60 percent of their events are always held in physically accessible spaces. Fewer than one-third (30 percent) offer opportunities for participants at public events to request accommodations like sign language interpreters, live captioning, or food allergy alternatives. This session gave leaders the information they need to ensure that their practices match their principles so that they can benefit from the talents and perspectives of people with disabilities. [continue reading…]

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