JDAIM 2016

February was Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month (JDAIM)!

Read all of the wonderful blog posts and articles from the URJ and Disabilities Inclusion Learning Center contributors.

Cantor Faryn Kates Rudnick and Rabbi Sid Helbraun of Exemplar Congregation Temple Beth-El in Northbrook, Illinois created a new study session on the Disabilities Inclusion Learning Center titled, “The Power of Language:  What We Say and How We Say It.”  This vital webinar addresses the language we use in our congregations, and the impact it has on us all.

URJ employee Moriah Benjoseph wrote an excellent blog post about her experiences with disabilities, and the language that is used in our congregations.  “‘Please Rise” … but What if I Can’t Stand During Prayer?” addresses important questions and issues revolving around the language we use from the Bimah.  For more on this topic, view “Writing Inclusive Liturgy” by Matan Koch.

Rabbi Shana Nyer of Exemplar Congregation Suburban Temple-Kol Ami in Beachwood, Ohio, wrote, “How to Say ‘Yes, and’ to Inclusion.”  This excellent piece discusses education in our congregations, what language to use when discussing inclusion, and lists great resources for everybody interested in disabilities inclusion.

JDAIM Creator Shelly Christensen wrote a blog post on, “How to Find Your Voice – and Why it Matters.”  For more on this topic, watch Shelly’s study session entitled, “Leading Inclusion for Congregational Leaders.”

April Baskin, Vice President of Audacious Hospitality at the URJ wrote, “Be a Jewish Disability Advocate, This Month and Every Month,” on ways we can advocate for and advance the inclusion of people with disabilities.

Denise Jacobson of Exemplar Congregation Temple Sinai in Oakland, California wrote, “6 Congregational Programs to Celebrate and Encourage Inclusion,” a very important piece on disabilities inclusion that is relevant during JDAIM, and year-round.

URJ Youth Inclusion Specialist Pamela Schuller wrote, “I’m not your mitzvah project” about inclusion and her experiences with Tourette’s Syndrome.  For more from Pam, click here to view the study session she created on making youth groups more inclusive.

Rabbi Jonah Pesner, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC) and Senior Vice President of the URJ gave, “For All Whose Hearts are Moved,” an inspiring and important D’Var Torah, at Jewish Disability Advocacy Day (JDAD) in Washington, D.C.

Rabbi Rebecca Dubowe wrote a blog post asking the important question, “Why Would the Rabbis Offer a Blessing for Our Differences?”

Cantor Faryn Kates Rudnick of Exemplar Congregation Temple Beth-El in Northbrook, Illinois wrote, “13 Ideas for Making Your Community More Inclusive,” an important primer for enabling your congregation to become more inclusive of people with disabilities.

JDAIM Creator Shelly Christensen wrote a blog post on the ways that “JDAIM Inspires Action and Commitment to Inclusion.”  Read it today to learn about ways your congregation can be inspired year-round.

This great blog post from Tyler Dratch of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC) includes helpful tips and resources for getting involved with JDAIM 2016.

Rabbi Edythe Mencher’s “10 Ways to Celebrate Jewish Disability Awareness & Inclusion Month in Your Synagogue” is an extremely helpful guide for congregations looking to adopt further awareness about disabilities inclusion, and participate in JDAIM.

JDAIM creator Shelly Christensen released a new study session on the Disabilities Inclusion Learning Center on February 1st, in honor of the start of JDAIM.  “Leading Inclusion for Congregational Leaders” features strategies for effectively leading inclusion in your congregation.

Disability rights activist and self-advocate Denise Jacobson of Exemplar Congregation Temple Sinai in Oakland, California wrote “I Couldn’t Get Comfortable at Synagogue Until I Left My Comfort Zone,” in honor of JDAIM 2016.  This important blog post discusses Denise’s Jewish journey, and her congregation’s inclusion journey.  You can find out more about Temple Sinai’s path to access and inclusion by watching Denise’s video on the topic.

Rabbi Paul Kipnes of Congregation Or Ami in Calabasas, California wrote a fantastic post-Biennial blog post including “five insights on synagogue next steps.”  Rabbi Kipnes discusses disabilities inclusion in the section on “Audacious Hospitality and Radical Inclusion,” and mentions the URJ Ruderman Disabilities Inclusion Initiative Exemplar Congregations.