Celebrate and Honor Unique Differences in Your Jewish Community
Our differences are worthy of celebration, whether that means celebrating where we come from, which languages we speak, which religions we observe, or what abilities we have. This is one of the reasons why we observe Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month.
“We encourage Reform congregations to observe and participate in this important community-wide initiative because it is Jewish to cherish each and every life and to support every struggle for dignity and justice,” writes Rabbi Edythe Held Mencher with the Union for Reform Judaism. “It is Jewish to work directly with each person and each family to find out what they need to be able to learn, pray, find friends, feel a sense of belonging, and contribute to the shaping and sustaining of community; it is Jewish to dispel prejudices and misconceptions that contribute to isolation, underemployment, and lack of human rights.”
The URJ has compiled a list of 11 ways to celebrate Jewish Disability Awareness in your synagogue. Click here for some tips on how to create a more inclusive, helpful, and accessible environment.
We have some tips on inclusion throughout our materials. Click the images to download these free sample resources.
Let’s Discover Kindness
The sixth folder of Let’s Discover Kindness addresses acceptance and how we might be kind to each other. We may all be different but how are we alike? In Let’s Discover Kindness, young learners learn to observe and respect differences while appreciating what they may have in common with friends and classmates.
Click the image to download this sample spread.
Everyone is Welcome
Not all learning differences are alike. A student with ADHD may process information differently than a student with autism. One student may benefit from one-on-one interaction while another student may benefit from group work.
In Everyone is Welcome, it is argued that the best way to approach any learning environment is with understanding and empathy.
Click here to download a chapter on understanding learning differences and learning plans.
The Gateways Haggadah
The Passover seder is a meaningful experience. It's important to also make it an inclusive experience and to be thoughtful of every member who may experience the seder in a different way. The Gateways Haggadah lends a hand to members of varying abilities, with 150 picture communication symbols, clear instructions, and permission to sit out if an experience is overwhelming.
Click the spread below to download.
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