Rabbi Saperstein: "Rabbi Landsberg has invaluably improved the lives of people with disabilities in communities across North America and lifted up the consciousness of countless others."
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Washington, DC, November 2, 2012 -- Taking the stage after a rousing performance by the Village People, the equally inspiring Rabbi Lynne Landsberg, Senior Adviser on Disability Issues for the Religious Action of Reform Judaism, was honored last week by the Jewish Foundation for Group Homes with the "S. Robert Cohen Award." The honor recognizes Rabbi Landsberg's embodiment of the spirit of JFGH and its commitment to independent living. In presenting the award, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, paid tribute to Rabbi Landsberg, excerpts of which follow:
"We congratulate Rabbi Landsberg on this prestigious and very deserved honor. The Religious Action Center has long supported the civil rights of people with disabilities, and Rabbi Landsberg has been a true champion of this work, pushing us to ever greater and stronger involvement. As the Co-Founder and Co-Chair of the Jewish Disability Network and a member of the Steering Committee of the Interfaith Disability Advocacy Coalition, Rabbi Landsberg embodies the Reform Movement's commitment to the full participation of individuals with disabilities in religious and public life.
As Rabbi Landsberg often teaches, "Civil rights begin at home." Nothing could be truer of her own work, where she has led our congregations in their continual pursuit of full inclusion. Our Jewish tradition commands us to remove "the stumbling block before the blind" (Lev. 19:14). Rabbi Landsberg pushes us to address barriers of all types, not just physical, in our communities. Rabbi Landsberg has invaluably improved the lives of people with disabilities in communities across North America and lifted up the consciousness of countless others.
A person with a disability herself, Rabbi Landsberg consistently reminds those around her to see past a disability and to focus on the untapped potential within the individual. She excels in bringing together coalitions as diverse as the Village People. We are proud to recognize Rabbi Landsberg as our Movement's leader in the fight for the rights of people with disabilities and wish her a yasher koach on this honor."