Strengthening the Jewish Community Through Leadership by Jews with Disabilities
Project Moses is a new leadership program that currently is recruiting 36 new talented civic-minded Jews with disabilities to join a leadership cohort in the Los Angeles Jewish community. It is made possible by the generosity of the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles and other funders. Participants will be talented people may have mobility, vision, hearing, mental health or any other disability. We want to maximize their potential and connect them to Jewish organizations in the Los Angeles-area to truly make a difference.
Today fully 1-in-4 adults in America have some form of disability. In the 30 years since the passage of the Americans With Disabilities Act, the secular world, and corporate interests have made significant strides by benefiting from the talents of this population. For example, climate change activist Greta Thunberg is Autistic and almost all of the sharks on Shark Tank have learning disabilities. However, the Jewish community – which like other communities includes people with physical, sensory, cognitive, mental health, chronic pain and other disabilities – has very few people with disabilities anywhere in its leadership pipeline. The fact is that Jews with disabilities have a tremendous amount to offer and their leadership is needed.
Project Moses Leaders Are:
Jews with disabilities who have a passion for Jewish leadership, and are adults of any age whose collegiate level academic achievement or equivalent professional, vocational or volunteer experience already has given them meaningful skills, but who:
- have not yet had the opportunity to gain the specific skills and connections that would allow them to lead in the Jewish community, or
- have not yet gotten what they feel that they need in order to deliver their talents to Jewish organizations, or
- have been blocked from leadership due to previous lack of access or awareness around disability, or
- already have leadership experience but would like to bring it to the next level, or
- any or all of the above.
Does this describe you? Check out: What It Means to Be a Moses. Then, fill out our brief application form to be contacted about a meeting with our Director, Matan Koch, to discuss whether being a Moses is right for you.
Our Organizational Partners
We welcome any Jewish organization that might want to benefit from the leadership of Jews with disabilities. We will provide you with our training series to prepare you to enrich your organization at all levels with the participation of people with disabilities. Any and every Jewish organization is encouraged to attend the trainings, as all of the webinars will be available online and you do not have to sign up to bring a Moses on board to participate in the training series. If you are in Los Angeles, we invite you to join us to watch the webinars in person, locations to be announced.
We especially are looking for Jewish organizations that might want to benefit from the participation of a Moses who shares a passion for your mission. All Moses/organization pairings will be very specifically geared so that the Moses is interested in the work of the organization, and the organization is prepared to benefit from the work of the Moses. If you think your organization might be a good candidate, email Matan Koch at ProjectMoses@RespectAbility.org to set up a meeting.
The Secret to Our Success: Managing Complete Relationships
The secret to Project Moses’ success will be in more than just the training of the Moseses, as well as of the organization, but even more so the effective pairing of the two. The RespectAbility team will be a resource at all times, partnering with the Moses and the organization, and meeting with each of them individually and collectively to ensure success.
Support Project Moses
Are you committed that Los Angeles should have a strong Jewish community that embraces the talent of leaders with disabilities? There are two ways you can support Project Moses:
- Be a volunteer. The RespectAbility team in California is growing but small. We have any number of opportunities for volunteers who wish to help run webinars, trainings and other programming. Interested in volunteering? Contact Matan Koch at ProjectMoses@RespectAbility.org.
- Please also consider financial support of this program, so that we can see it become as strong as possible, and to sustain it into the future. If you are so moved, visit respectability.org/donate and take advantage of one of the many ways in which we accept tax-deductible donations. Please feel free to designate that you are making a gift in support of Project Moses.