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Jewish Disability Perspectives

More than 100 people joined the first session of the new “Disability Access and Inclusion Training Series for Jewish Organizations and Activists” offered by a coalition of over 40 Jewish organizations. The session “Inclusion as a Jewish Value” laid the groundwork for the other six sessions, not only demonstrating clearly that inclusion is present even [click to continue...]

I hope that you are staying safe and healthy. Before I begin our weekly exploration of Jewish disability inclusion, I must begin the Shabbat Smile by noting that this is a gut-wrenching time in our nation. We are all dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and massive job loss challenges. Now the uprisings taking place across [click to continue...]

With every day rolling into the next, it’s nice to know that in the U.S. the calendar marks that we have a long weekend. Memorial Day – America’s Yom Ha’Zikaron – is a day we set aside to remember all our military personnel who died while serving in the U.S. military, helping to ensure America’s [click to continue...]

For years, JCHAI’s award-winning Transitions program has provided young adults with developmental disabilities the opportunity to develop social networks while learning skills to transition to living and working in the community. Our in-person classes and outings brought people together to practice life-skills while socializing with friends. The pandemic and current stay-at-home orders have made it [click to continue...]

As COVID-19 continues to claim the lives of multitudes around the globe, we have responded with serious introspection and copious goodwill, transforming into the very best versions of ourselves – more grateful, helpful, compassionate and empathetic than ever before.  Surprisingly, we have also effectively proven that we possess the skills, resources and creativity to remove [click to continue...]

Founded in 1948, Israel’s accessibility for people with disabilities was not a top priority.  I recall several almost comical incidents from nearly 20 years ago when helping people with disabilities navigate Israel.  On one group trip, while pushing 20-something Rivka in a wheelchair in northern Israel, the sidewalk abruptly ended. We carried her in the [click to continue...]

During the 49-day `Counting of the Omer,’ we traditionally retrace our ancestors’ seven-week spiritual journey from Exodus to Sinai each evening. Typically together, we count the days until the 50th day, Shavuot, when we commemorate and joyfully celebrate the Giving of the Torah at Sinai. This year, however, in a manner unprecedented in a century, we are additionally ‘counting days’ in a most precarious, daunting, and [click to continue...]

Traditionally, during the Passover seder, we ask four questions, starting with the well-known refrain “mah nishtanah ha’layla ha’zeh mi’kol ha’leylot: why is this night different from all other nights?” This year, there are far more than the traditional four answers to this query. We are, right now, living in a time of challenge and hardship, a new “mitzraym” or narrow place for all of [click to continue...]

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