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Position of the Reform Movement on Disability Rights

Ensuring that people with disabilities are welcome and may participate fully in the Jewish and the broader secular communities has long been a priority of Reform Jewish advocacy. Our first resolution supporting disability rights is more than 30 years old and since then the Union for Reform Judaism, the CCAR and the CSA have each passed numerous resolutions on the issue of disabilities. Most recently, the URJ passed a resolution on Special Needs Camping (2009), resolving to:

  1. Reaffirm our commitment to providing a Reform Jewish camping experience to the children of all our members, including children with special needs by:
    1. Increasing the visibility of existing URJ programs through greater marketing, and publicizing the existence and role of Inclusion Coordinators at URJ camps;
    2. Improving staff training programs on special needs; and
    3. Continuing the URJ partnership with Nova Southeastern University and/or other groups with expertise.
  2. Initiate steps within the next 12 months to develop additional programs for children with special needs within the URJ camping system in a manner which serves the affected population of member congregations.
  3. Begin implementation of such programs within 24 months of the adoption of this resolution.
  4. Develop and implement a campaign to inform all Union members of the availability of special needs camping programs.
  5. Solicit grants from foundations and individuals to support the expansion of special needs camping programs.

Some of the other Reform Movement resolutions include:


Union for Reform Judaism

As part of the Interfaith Disability Advocacy Coalition, the Union for Reform Judaism has signed the coalition's Statement of Solidarity by the Religious Community Around Employment of People with Disabilities. The URJ encourages its congregations and affiliates to sign the Statement of Solidarity, which will be open for signatures through September 30, 2011. The Statement is available on the American Association of People with Disabilities website.