JCC ASSOCIATION OF NORTH AMERICA LAUNCHES PARTNERSHIP WITH BEIT ISSIE SHAPIRO TO ADVANCE DISABILITY INCLUSION IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION
JCC Association is partnering with Israel’s leading innovator for people with disabilities to expand inclusion programming across the JCC movement
NEW YORK – Today, JCC Association of North America launched a new partnership with Beit Issie Shapiro (BIS), Israel’s leading developer and provider of innovative therapies for children and adults across the entire range of disabilities. Together, through JCC Association’s Sheva Center for Early Childhood Education and Engagement, the organizations will expand disability inclusion programming across the JCC Movement, with a focus on strengthening early intervention for children and toddlers with disabilities and developmental delays. The partnership officially began during a two-day think tank in New York City last week that brought together special needs professionals and educators from seven JCCs across the continent.
The new partnership marks the first time Beit Issie Shapiro, an internationally recognized nonprofit and special consultant to the United Nations, is working with a North American organization on an early intervention project of this scale. Through a pilot program that includes customized assessments, a new framework for inclusion in JCCs, trainings, and workshops, BIS specialists will help JCC early childhood educators strengthen their capacity to meet the developmental, emotional and physical needs of thousands of children and families in the U.S. and Canada
Doron Krakow, President and CEO of JCC Association, celebrated the partnership, commenting: “Jewish Community Centers are the town squares of Jewish life in the neighborhoods and cities they serve with such dedication. But being a true town square means being accessible to all. Together with Beit Issie Shapiro, we will invite untold thousands of children and families to join us in the square, making it and all of us an even better version of ourselves. We are incredibly proud that global leadership in inclusion and accessibility comes to us from Israel, through the remarkable innovators at BIS.”
“We see tremendous opportunity through our new partnership with JCC Association’s Sheva Center for Early Childhood Jewish Education and Engagement to scale our initiatives and have a dramatic new impact on families across the U.S. and Canada who wouldn’t otherwise have access to disability inclusion programs,” said Mark Horowitz , vice president, director, Sheva Center: Innovation in Early Childhood Jewish Education and Engagement. “During the New York think tank that launched this partnership, we were inspired to meet with executive directors, inclusion professionals, early childhood educators and funders representing diverse North American Jewish communities who we are confident will advance our mission to reach and touch the largest number of people with disabilities and their families as possible.”
“It is a great privilege for us to be part of this meaningful initiative based on the shared values of both of our organizations: diversity as a source of power and opportunity. We are honored to be working with such excellent leaders and professionals, who share our passion to improve the quality of life for children and people with disabilities and their families. We truly believe that it is only through partnerships such as these, that significant change can be achieved and a more just and inclusive community can be built for all of its members,” said Lili Levinton, Professional Deputy Director of BIS.
Leaders of JCC Association, the Sheva Center and Beit Issie Shapiro are available to interview.
About JCC Association of North America
JCC Association of North America strengthens and leads JCCs, YM-YWHAs and camps throughout North America. As the convening organization, JCC Association partners with JCCs to bring together the collective power and knowledge of the JCC Movement. JCC Association offers services and resources to increase the effectiveness of JCCs as they provide community engagement and educational, cultural, social, recreational and Jewish identity-building programs to enhance Jewish life throughout North America. By supporting the 25,000 Jewish communal professionals who connect with two million JCC participants each year—JCC Association encourages engaged lives of purpose and meaning.
About Beit Issie Shapiro
Beit Issie Shapiro (BIS) is Israel’s leading developer and provider of innovative therapies and state-of-the-art services for children and adults across the entire range of disabilities impacting on over half a million people annually.
BIS promotes social change through a three-pronged approach: development and provision of cutting-edge services, changing attitudes in society and advocating for better legislation, and sharing knowledge throughout Israel, as well as internationally, through research, consultation and training. As a social start-up in the field of disabilities, BIS’ four decades of expertise is in scaling up its impactful solutions that are developed, researched and validated on-site – enabling the organization to promote systemic change in the quality of life of people with disabilities in Israel and internationally.