JCC Association Adds Two Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Professionals to Staff
Charged With Advancing and Augmenting the Movement’s Accessibility and Inclusion Work
NEW YORK — JCC Association of North America has hired two diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) professionals to build a foundation that positions the organization as a leader in the work of DEI for the JCC Movement and the Jewish community at large. The Crown Family Philanthropies has awarded funding for these positions, which will support JCC Association’s commitment to build, nurture, and elevate a culture of belonging in which we welcome, recognize, and celebrate people of all abilities and identities in accessible, safe settings throughout the JCC Movement.
Liviya Mendelsohn, JCC Association’s inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility (IDEA) consultant and a member of the inclusion team, will lead JCC Association’s efforts to ground and guide JCCs’ inclusion work in Jewish principles; advance JCC Association as a leader in accessibility and inclusion work and deepen its endeavors that support JCCs as places of belonging for people of all abilities; and establish JCC Association as a partner with JCCs in championing accessibility and removing barriers for all.
Mendelsohn, who holds both an M.A. and an M.Ed., is director of accessibility and inclusion at the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre and artistic director of the ReelAbilities Film Festival Toronto. She has been a field instructor in social work at the University of Toronto; faculty at the Ruderman Jewish Leadership Institute on Disabilities and Inclusion; and recipient of a Civic Action Leadership Foundation DiverseCity Fellowship and a City of Toronto Equity Award. She is currently a member of the City of Toronto’s Accessibility Advisory Committee; the City of Toronto Museums’ Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility Committee; and the Civic Re:Action Toronto COVID Recovery Task Force. She is a 2021 fellow of the Maytree Foundation Policy School and a 2021–23 Mandel Executive Leadership Program Fellow. Mendelsohn is a highly respected inclusion professionals in North America’s Jewish community and beyond.
Sierra Weiss, JCC Association’s access and inclusion specialist for the JCC Movement, will work alongside Mendelsohn as part of the inclusion team, bringing creativity, innovation, and passion to JCC Association’s inclusion efforts, both within the organization and in support of the work of JCCs across the continent.
Weiss has extensive experience working with and advocating for people with disabilities, as well as considering innovative improvements for inclusion and accessibility. Her experience in the field of disability ethics and advocacy has helped her develop a well-rounded and diverse skill-set. She holds a bachelor’s degree in disability studies and bioethics and a master’s degree in bioethics, both from Emory University. She previously worked as director of academic affairs and Jewish community relations at the Consulate General of Israel to the Southeast U.S., where she acted as the official liaison between the State of Israel and all institutes of higher education in a seven-state region.
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About JCC Association of North America
JCC Association of North America leads and connects the JCC Movement, advancing and enriching North American Jewish life. With 1.5 million people walking through the doors of more than 170 Jewish Community Centers and Jewish Community Camps (JCCs) each week, the JCC Movement is the largest platform for Jewish engagement on the continent. JCC Association, the convening organization of this dynamic network, partners with JCCs to bring together the collective power and knowledge of the entire JCC Movement, including 12,000 full-time and 41,000 part-time and seasonal professionals. By supporting them, together we enhance and strengthen Jewish life throughout North America. Learn more at JCCA.org or on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.