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Jewish Disability Perspectives

Judaism taught me that we are all created in the image of God; the disability rights movement has taught me what this means.  This statement from Rabbi Ruti Regan, an Autistic Conservative Rabbi, has become a personal mantra that defines why disability inclusion is critical to us as a community. At the Jewish Federation of Greater [click to continue...]

Cori Ashkenazy was only two-and-a-half-years-old when he and his family made Aliyah, making Israel their new home. But it was only after their arrival to Israel that his parents became aware that their son was “different” than other kids his age: after a battery of tests and evaluations, Cori was diagnosed with autism. Undiscouraged, Cori’s family invested [click to continue...]

I don’t wear glasses, at least physically speaking. My identity as an American Jew with learning disabilities acts like glasses though. It is as if my disability is a lens teaching me the power of perspective. I can apply my Judaism lens to better understand my disability, and my disability helps me understand Judaism. Together [click to continue...]

For this week’s Shabbat Smile, we are honored to share the poignant and personal story of disability advocate Guila Franklin Siegel, Associate Director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington (JCRC). The ER geriatrician was matter-of-fact. “Your father has probably had mini-strokes. Usually we do a CT Scan to confirm the diagnosis but given [click to continue...]

In considering great heroes, dates, places and milestones in the history of disabilities inclusion, one is more likely to think of Tom Harkin, ADA, and 1990 rather than think of Herb and Barbara Greenberg and Donny Adelman (z”l), 1970 and Camp Ramah in Glen Spey, New York. Yet, without the pioneers Greenberg and Adelman, there [click to continue...]

When Donn Weinberg, Shelley Cohen and I started RespectAbility, it was an outgrowth of the Jewish Funders Network disability funders group. Amazing people, including Judith Creed, Joan Alexander and others were involved. One thing we all realized is that young leadership is a key to the future, and that talented young people with disabilities need [click to continue...]

Jews and Arabs in Israel Unite by Working Together within the Disability Community We live in a diverse and interconnected world that challenges us to learn how to live together in peace. “Coexistence” is a popular buzzword these days, but it’s easy to lose sight of what true coexistence entails.  Living in harmony with others who [click to continue...]

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