Our goal is the full participation in the spiritual, educational and social aspects of synagogue life for people living with disabilities and for their families.
Recently, the URJ announced a new partnership
with the Ruderman Family Foundation
to launch the Ruderman Synagogue Inclusion Initiative, which aims to improve
attitudes about inclusion and disabilities among community leaders and clergy,
Jewish professionals, organizational leaders, and congregants, and to ensure
full inclusion and participation of people with disabilities and their families
in every aspect of Reform Jewish life.
The Hineinu guide is an innovative collaboration of disability professionals, activists, and policy experts from the Conservative, Orthodox, Reconstructionist and Reform Jewish Movements designed to increase disability inclusion in our synagogues for people of all abilities.
The Disability Inclusion Active Learning Network, a 4-month process, will offer opportunities for congregations to learn from professionals in the disabilities community, as well as from congregations that have successfully developed inclusion strategies that enrich congregational life, increase membership and strengthen sacred relationships among members.
Suggestions for helping synagogue communities become more welcoming and responsive to families with children with special needs by Dona Hare, Director of the Mitzvah Corp Program at Kutz Leadership Camp
The Winter 2011 issue of this publication for Jewish educators provides articles from educators, professionals, and lay leaders from all around the Reform Movement, each addressing the topic of creating an atmosphere of inclusion in all aspects of Jewish learning.
JDAM Reads for Children! presents practical ideas for raising awareness of disabilities and encouraging tikkun
olam using the picture book Jumping Jenny. Also includes information for a webinar featuring the book's author.
Praying with Lior asks whether someone with Down syndrome can be a "spiritual genius." As this moving and entertaining documentary moves to its climax, Lior must pass through the gateway to manhood - his Bar Mitzvah.
In his Yom Kippur sermon, Rabbi Kipnes addresses the "veil of silence" and the discomfort people feel around mental illness. He offers a charge to lift up the veil, and not be afraid to talk about mental illnesses and to acknowledge that they, too, are in need of healing.
Through Jewish texts, Dr. William Cutter initiates a conversation of the tension between inclusivity and feeling estranged during a conference in 2001 at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.
Rabbi Lynne F. Landsberg talks about Jewish Disability Awareness Month, an opportunity for Jewish communities to break down physical, communicative and attitudinal barriers, educate ourselves on the true meaning of accessibility and inclusion, and reach out to Jews with disabilities.
Learn about the people and stories that make Bet Shalom Congregation in Minnetonka, MN an inclusive, welcoming environment, in the video below.
Rabbi Richard F. Address discusses how congregations can and are adapting to welcome those with special needs and disabilities. Watch the video below or listen to the Podcast: