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10 Vital Jewish Resources on Disability Awareness and Inclusion

10 Vital Jewish Resources on Disability Awareness and Inclusion

hands stacked one atop another in a show of support and cooperation

This week marks the halfway point in Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month. Since 2009, this community-wide initiative has sought to raise awareness and support for including people with disabilities in all facets of Jewish life.

Here are just a few of the stories, ideas, and resources that have resulted from this important awareness effort, both from the Reform Jewish community and beyond. Are we missing a resource you found especially helpful? Link to it in the comments and let us know!

  1. Drop everything and start here: “Five Ways to Be an Ally to People with Disabilities.”
  2. The Union for Reform Judaism shares new resources to help congregations and other Jewish organizations encourage participation by all people who want to be a part of the community.
  3. How can we teach our kids to be accepting of people with disabilities? Jewish parents will find helpful guidance in this article from a Jewish educator.
  4. This article from eJewishPhilanthropy describes a disabilities inclusion planning tool that can help synagogues and Jewish communal organizations invite individuals to participate in all facets of Jewish life.
  5. For one public school student, access to learning disabilities services available through the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) proved to be life-changing.
  6. Speaking of the ADA, the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism explains challenges the law currently faces – and how you can urge Congress to protect it.  
  7. A Jewish disabilities inclusion professional tells his personal success story and outlines why self-advocacy is such a vital element of the pursuit of disability rights.
  8. One young woman explains how speaking out on behalf of mental health issues has raised awareness – and helped her heal.
  9. A rabbi, social worker, and disability inclusion expert shares 13 ways to make your Jewish community more inclusive and welcoming to people with disabilities.
  10. Our world is constantly in flux, and it’s important to recognize how the changing landscape affects people with disabilities. One man shares his vision for the future.

Whether in our schools, homes, or congregations, we must embrace all opportunities to support and include people with disabilities in Jewish life – not just during Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month, but throughout the year and always.

February is Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month (JDAIM), a unified initiative to raise disability awareness and support efforts to foster inclusion in Jewish communities worldwide. The Union for Reform Judaism is proud to partner with the Ruderman Family Foundation to ensure full inclusion and participation of people with disabilities and their families in every aspect of Reform Jewish life. Visit the Disabilities Inclusion Learning Center to learn more.

Jane E. Herman, a.k.a. JanetheWriter, a longtime writer and editor at the Union for Reform Judaism is now a senior writer at JCC Association of North America and blogs at JanetheWriter Writes. She grew up at Temple Emanu-El in Edison, NJ, and currently belongs to Temple Shaaray Tefila in New York City. 

Jane E. Herman
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