April 17, 2014 · 17 Nisan

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Jewish Disability Awareness Month

Jewish Disability Awareness Month logo

February 2014 marks the sixth annual Jewish Disability Awareness Month. Together we can use this month to break down physical, communication, and attitudinal barriers, educate our communities on what accessibility and inclusion really mean, and reach out to Jews with disabilities. Visit the Union for Reform Judaism Disabilities portal for a comprehensive list of resources to guide you through the observance of this month!

Join the Religious Action Center in Washington, D.C. on February 6, 2014, for the second annual Jewish Disability Advocacy Day! Advocacy Day provides the opportunity for you to learn about key legislation and speak with the offices of your elected officials about disability issues. This year, we will advocate for the Senate ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and for the swift passage of the ABLE Act.

Register for Advocacy Day

UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Urge your Senators to finally ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Hineinu, a new, inter-Movement collaboration, is a comprehenisve guide - including programs, activities, and Jewish texts - to building inclusive Jewish communities for people of all abilities.

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Latest on Disability Issues

Why Talk about Disability Rights on Passover?

Apr 10, 2014 12:00 AM
Moses is never mentioned in the Passover Haggadah.  At first glance, it’s a little strange that Moses’s name or involvement in the Exodus is never discussed in the Passover Haggadah.  I was taught that there is no mention of Moses for two reasons: (1) Because at our Seder, we want to remember the miracles performed […]

Annual Ruderman Prize in Inclusion Announced

Mar 27, 2014 12:00 AM
The Ruderman Family Foundation recently announced the launch of the third annual Ruderman Prize in Inclusion global competition.  The Prize seeks to recognize organizations that have demonstrated their commitment to the full inclusion of people with disabilities into Jewish community through innovative programs and services.  They will be awarding $250,000 in prizes (five awards of […]

Ensuring the Safety of Our Nation’s Students

Mar 12, 2014 12:00 AM
A report from the U.S. Department of Education showed 66,000 cases of seclusion and restraint of students during the 2009-10 school year. This is a horrifying statistic, made even more horrifying by the conjecture of many experts that because only 18 states require that parents be notified when a child is restrained or secluded, the […]
Jewish tradition teaches us of our obligation to ensure equal access for all people and to help facilitate the full participation of individuals with disabilities in religious and public life.
The Union for Reform Judaism and its affiliates have passed policy resolutions expanding on our commitment to ensuring and protecting the rights of people with disabilities.
As part of the Interfaith Disability Advocacy Coalition (IDAC), the URJ is encouraging all of its congregations and affiliates to sign on to this statement. Please identify yourself as a URJ congregation when completing the sign-on form.
More than 50 million Americans live with some form of disability, making Americans with disabilities one of the largest yet least protected and most underrepresented minorities in America today.
UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Teens at URJ Kutz Camp made this slideshow to tell you why it's important to take action and urge the Senate to ratify the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Say YES! Building Inclusive Communities Video Series

Learn from experts Shelly Christensen and Lisa Friedmanhow to make your community more accessible and welcoming to all. The webinars offer big-picture guidance, strategies and opportunities for advocacy:

  • Start an inclusion initiative (Part I)
  • Foster a culture of inclusion (Part I)
  • Engage parents as partners (Part II)
  • Special Needs Education Best Practices & Successes (Part II)

These webinars can be viewed independently or as a mini-course, “Building Inclusive Communities.” Part I, “Say YES! Bringing Inclusion into Your Synagogue,” features Shelly Christensen and Part II, “Say YES! Parents as Partners & Success Stories,” features Lisa Friedman.

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