The Union for Reform Judaism is committed to
improving and supporting learning opportunities for all Jews. Our goal
is to make education available to anyone
who wishes to learn. Any person with a mental, physical or other
disability is entitled to an education.
Jewish Parenting Podcasts Listen to experts discuss special needs: what's changed, what parents and educators need to know and the importance of inclusion.
"Dear Shana" is a question and answer forum where you may find answers to your questions about working with people with disabilities from our expert consultant on people with disabilities, Dr. Shana Erenberg. Dr. Erenberg has provided answers to many questions posted here by synagogue educators.
Converting Mitkadem to Braille We have a third grader who has been blind since he was nine months old and is fluent in English language Braille. The school is introducing Hebrew with the Mitkadem curriculum. Any ideas on how we could convert the curriculum into Braille so he can read it?
Learning Resources for the Blind I am writing this for someone who is converting at a Reform congregation. She is 41 years old and has multiple disabilities, including pseudotumor cerebri, which has taken a lot of her sight away from her. She wants to know if there is somewhere she can get a talking Torah...
Parent Communication Our school is committed to giving every child a Jewish education and making them a welcome and important part of our synagogue community. However, I find my biggest frustration is communicating this to parents and having them cooperate by sharing information about their child with the school...
Special Needs Assistants and Synagogue Liability We have a family that recently joined our congregation with a special needs student. They are asking for a one on one assistant to be with their son. We would like to help the family and I have a college student willing to assist, but I am concerned about liability and the need for a policy. Can you help?
Special Needs Bar Mitzvah Next year a child with high functioning autism is supposed to celebrate a bar mitzvah. I have taught him how to read Hebrew, but I need to prepare him for "something" for his bar mitzvah...
Early Childhood Intervention I have a new child in my early childhood program whom I think would benefit from professional observation and potentially early intervention services...
*Shana Erenberg, Ph.D.received her doctorate from Northwestern University. For 20 years, she served as the founding director of the Keshet Sunday School for students with disabilities in Northbrook, IL and is currently the Chairman of the Department of Education at Hebrew Theological College in Chicago. She also has a private practice and serves as a consultant.