The Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) is a dynamic network of Reform Jewish congregations, lay leaders, clergy and professionals, which represent the largest and fastest growing constituency of Jews in North America. Our progressive, inclusive approach unites thousands of years of Jewish tradition and values with modern Jewish experience to strengthen Judaism today and for future generations. Through programs, consultations, resources, and networking opportunities provided by the URJ, our nearly 900 member congregations enhance their capacity to build and expand community, welcome spiritual seekers, deepen Jewish learning, energize worship, pursue social justice, connect with Israel and develop inspired leadership.
About the Disabilities Inclusion Project
The Ruderman Family Foundation has awarded a generous grant to the Union for Reform Judaism for a period of three years with the goal of working in partnership to increase inclusion of people with disabilities and their families in congregational life. An additional and equally important goal is to increase understanding of disabilities and to decrease stigma and misconceptions among all congregational staff and members.
The Ruderman Grant helped the Union for Reform Judaism to create a disabilities accessible 2013 Biennial Conference including significant programming on disabilities inclusion and a plenary session in which Jay Ruderman and Rabbi Rick Jacobs spoke of their shared commitment to work towards a fully inclusive Jewish community.
The Ruderman Grant is also helping to expand and deepen the URJ Religious Action Center’s work on disabilities.
The Disabilities Inclusion Learning Center enables us to bring vital information, skills and opportunities for collaboration to advance inclusion in all Reform congregations in North America.
Our Jewish communities have the potential to be more open, welcoming places for people of all abilities and their families. We all know that the center of our Jewish community is the synagogue. Our partnership with URJ will provide the tools and knowledge necessary to transform synagogues across North America into gathering places that are more fair and welcome to Jews with disabilities and their families. Ultimately we will build a more inclusive and attractive community for us all.
Jay Ruderman, President, Ruderman Family Foundation
Thanks to a new partnership with the Ruderman Family Foundation, the URJ is able to offer this innovative, comprehensive and high level online learning program. Our goal is to help all of our congregations remove barriers and provide pathways to participation so that people with disabilities and their families can truly belong, be strengthened by and contribute to our communities. I urge all of our Reform professionals, lay leaders and congregational staff to join in this opportunity for study and synagogue transformation. We are all exceptionally grateful to the Ruderman Family Foundation for their vision and leadership in making this extraordinary opportunity available to all.
Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President, Union for Reform Judaism