CCAR Newsletter Nov-Dec 2013 - 8



November/December 2013

Rabbi Marc Gruber
Co-chair, CCAR Committee on Disability
Awareness and Inclusion

(212) 972-3636 x234 /
Please note that the most current information of placement opportunities is available on the CCAR website
at on the password-protected Placement web page. This page is updated regularly.
Completed Placements
SANTA FE, NM - Temple Beth Shalom: Neil Amswych (Full-time)
SEATTLE, WA - Temple Beth Am: Jason Levine (Associate Rabbi)


he sixth annual Jewish Disability
Awareness Month (JDAM) is coming
up this February. It is time to plan how
your congregation will support the inclusion
of people with disabilities in all aspects of
congregational life.

Reported to the RPC
JohANNESBuRg, SouTh AFRICA - Beit Emanuel: Sa'ar Shaked (Full-time)
MAPLE gLEN, PA - Congregation Beth or: Laura Abrasley (Rabbi Educator)
MILWAukEE, WI - Congregation Shalom: Marcy Rosenbaum (Rabbi Educator)
SAN FRANCISCo, CA - A Wider Bridge: Ellie Steinman (Director of Programs and Fund

According to Shelly Christensen, co-founder
of JDAM with the Jewish Special Education
International Consortium, a new tagline was
added to the JDAM logo for 2014.

URJ Biennial

"JDAM has captured the attention of Jewish
organizations and communities across North
America, and Israel," Christensen said. "We
want to emphasize that raising awareness,
while necessary, is a stepping-stone to the
actions that can be taken to ensure that each
Jewish person who lives with a disability, and
those who love and care for them, can make
choices about meaningful participation."


for all the attendees that accommodations
have been made and will model the sorts of
signage and accommodations congregations
might emulate. Attendees will be directed to
locations and programs onsite where they can
learn more. After the Biennial, social media,
dedicated listservs, and networking groups will
support ongoing conversation and change.

The uRJ Biennial will serve as an ideal setting
in which to raise awareness and understanding
about disabilities. Information will be provided
and experiences will be offered to help
shift attitudes among all attendees. People
with disabilities and their families are being
encouraged to attend. The Biennial will model
inclusion while providing specific information
as to how individuals and congregations can
respond to people with disabilities with respect,
welcome, and full inclusion to both members
and non-members.

Specific programming will include such
workshops as Successfully Including Youth with
Special Needs; We're All in the This Together:
Disabilities Rights in our World; guide to
Making Your Religious School More Inclusive;
Engaging Teens at Risk: understanding the
Mental health Needs of Adolescents; Mental
Illness and our Congregations: Supporting
our Families with open hearts. There will a
networking lunch for those with disabilities, their
supporters and advocates, and representatives
of partner organizations at which members of
the uRJ Senior Leadership Team will speak
about the Reform Movement's commitment
and next steps.

t this year's Biennial, the uRJ's
commitment to disabilities inclusion in all
avenues of Jewish life will be reflected in
a special focus on this issue. Lisa David, uRJ
associate director of camping, has been named
and is serving as coordinator of disability efforts
at the Biennial.

Inclusion approaches will be reflected in
operations; provision of accommodations; the
presence of a Biennial accessibility coordinator;
pre-convention training of staff and of 800-
1000 volunteers (uRJ & WRJ); provision of
modifications that enhance accessibility and
model inclusivity; and an onsite participant care
Prior to the Biennial, there will be a dedicated
web page within the Biennial website that
will highlight all of the inclusion options and
disabilities-focused programming at the
Biennial, with tags on relevant programming to
allow for easy searching. outreach efforts are
under way to encourage attendance of people
with disabilities and their families.
During Biennial, bloggers will be invited to share
their real-time personal experiences of the
inclusion programs. Signage will clearly indicate

A compelling and important Forum on
Disabilities Awareness and Inclusion
will feature Lehi Lapid, who will discuss her
recent book and experiences as a parent of a
daughter with autism; Jennifer Lazlo Mizrahi, a
leading disability advocate, who will discuss the
results of her research and will share proposals
and strategies for meaningful change; and
Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the
Religious Action Center and long-time advocate
for the rights of people with disabilities.
The uRJ Biennial is December 11-15, 2013, in
San Diego, CA. Please consider attending and
please encourage your congregants to attend.
Rabbi Edythe Mencher, uRJ Faculty for Sacred
Caring Community

Now JDAM will be known as "Jewish Disability
Awareness Month: From Awareness to

JDAM Reads! is a virtual book club. The 2014
selection is Hope Will Find You: My Search for
the Wisdom to Stop Waiting and Start Living,
by Rabbi Naomi Levy. As a rabbi, Naomi Levy
frequently offered spiritual guidance to people
seeking the answers. But when a doctor
told her that her young daughter, Noa, had a
fatal degenerative disease, Rabbi Levy's own
insights could not prevent her whole life from
In Hope Will Find You, Naomi Levy shares
her journey and the wisdom she gained. She
describes with humor and honesty how she
came through a time of uncertainty and fear
and learned how to stop waiting for life to
begin. A natural and engaging storyteller,
Levy has written a book filled with invaluable
lessons for living in the present and for
opening the door to an extraordinary future.
This book is perfect for reading and discussing
during JDAM for your book groups.
For more information and a "how to" guide
including the logo, please contact Shelly
Christensen at

CCAR Newsletter Nov-Dec 2013

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CCAR Newsletter Nov-Dec 2013

CCAR Newsletter Nov-Dec 2013 - 1
CCAR Newsletter Nov-Dec 2013 - 2
CCAR Newsletter Nov-Dec 2013 - 3
CCAR Newsletter Nov-Dec 2013 - 4
CCAR Newsletter Nov-Dec 2013 - 5
CCAR Newsletter Nov-Dec 2013 - 6
CCAR Newsletter Nov-Dec 2013 - 7
CCAR Newsletter Nov-Dec 2013 - 8
CCAR Newsletter Nov-Dec 2013 - 9
CCAR Newsletter Nov-Dec 2013 - 10
CCAR Newsletter Nov-Dec 2013 - 11
CCAR Newsletter Nov-Dec 2013 - 12