February is Jewish Disability Awareness Month. JFNA is proud to join the Consortium of Jewish Special Educators in recognizing and increasing the awareness of the needs, strengths, opportunities and challenges of people with disabilities in our Jewish communities throughout North America. We are asking each federation to join us in observing Jewish Disability Awareness Month. JFNA has created this website to facilitate program ideas, as well as professional contacts, to assist your community in planning activities during the month of February and throughout the entire year. This website was created and will be updated by JFNA’s Human Services and Public Policy Disability Committee, which is composed of lay and professional leaders from across the continental federation movement and provides guidance and direction on policy/advocacy issues related to physical, emotional, and developmental disabilities.
If you have information about events in your community that you would like to add to this website, please contact Allison Redisch at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about Jewish Disability Awareness Month or JFNA’s Human Services and Public Policy Disability Committee, please contact David Feinman at email@example.com.
Co-chairs, Jewish Federations of North America’s Disability Committee
The Jewish Federations of North America put together a Resource Guide for Jewish Disability Awareness Month in 2013 and, in collaboration with the Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism and several other organizations, organized Jewish Disability Advocacy Day on February 12, 2013. Shalom TV covered Jewish Disability Advocacy Day in their news report, starting at 4:35 of this video. Additionally, please find information below on events that are taking place for Jewish Disability Awareness Month in local communities across the country.
Please email us if you have information about JDAM events that are not listed here.
On February 12, a joint program of JCFS, CJE SeniorLife, JVS and Linkanges, entitled Policy, Advocacy and You: The Changing Landscape of Disability and Aging Services will take place in Chicago.
Making Jewish life more accessible for all is a top priority for The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles. As part of the national effort to raise awareness about members of the Jewish community with disabilities, Los Angeles is celebrating Inclusion Awareness Month in February 2013.
In 2013, many events will take place in Philadelphia for Jewish Disability Awareness Month, including Understanding the World of Transitioning Teens and Young Adults Who Are On The Spectrum And Beyond and An Evening with Dan Gottlieb. The Jewish Learning Venture has also listed many opportunities.
Phoenix is having a guardianship presentation, and is collaborating with the local Jewish film festival. They also will be launching an accessibility survey during Jewish Disability Awareness Month.
The JDAM Reads book club program is kicks off its second year, and there are many opportunities for both children and adults to participate in this innovative program.
The Mitzvah Bowl was created by two mothers in Pennsylvania, with the goal of providing a simple resource to find a personally rewarding community service projects for bar/bat mitzvah students. To commemorate Jewish Disabilities Awareness month, The Mitzvah Bowl would love to hear from you on their blog with mitzvah project ideas for special needs students.
Yachad, The National Jewish Council for Disabilities, has designated February as North American Inclusion Month. Purim takes place in February this year, and the Yachad is enabling the deaf and hard of hearing to participate in the reading of Megillat Esther. You can find out more about NAIM from their letter and flyer, and synagogues can take their survey about inclusion. Yachad is affiliated with the Orthodox Union.
The Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism's Disability Rights page is focusing on Jewish Disability Awareness Month in 2013.
The Jewish Special Education International Consortium, originator of Jewish Disability Awareness Month, is a professional network of Directors, Coordinators and Administrators of Jewish special education services in central agencies for Jewish education. Communities that do not have central agencies are represented by a designee of the local Jewish Federation. To contact a member in your area or learn more about the mission of this network, visit: www.jsped.org.