With the start of February comes Jewish Disabilities Awareness, Acceptance, and Inclusion Month (JDAAIM), a unified effort to promote awareness, acceptance, and full inclusion of people with disabilities and their families in organizations, institutions, and initiatives throughout the Jewish community. To mark JDAAIM, JCC Association of North America is making numerous resources, events, and programs available to professionals throughout the JCC Movement and, in some cases, to public audiences as well. JCCs and other Jewish communal organizations will offer an array of JDAAIM programs as well.
JCC Association is proud to be a leader among community-based organizations focused on JDAAIM, which we consider integral to the fabric of our community. Here’s a quick round-up of the JDAAIM events and activities on tap for this month.
- Inclusion and Intentionality Through Art: Join us on Wednesday, February 1, at 2 p.m. ET, when Sharoni Sibony, a Toronto-based, Jewish, disabled, artist will discuss the artistic process she used to create a series of posters to illustrate the values and intentions of each of JCC Association’s Eight Guiding Principles on Inclusion, as well as describe several of the pieces. Advance registration is required.
- Fostering Inclusive Workplaces: If you want to make your workplace more inclusive but don’t know where to start, join us on Thursday, February 23, at 3 p.m. ET, to hear disability rights activist Emily Ladau in conversation with Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer, an experienced Jewish educator. Ladau harnesses the power of storytelling to teach people about disability, how they can incorporate the value of inclusion into their everyday life, and how to begin conversations about creating inclusive work environments. This program is open to the public, and advance registration is required.
- Inclusion Professionals Open Forum: These one-hour, once-a-month online drop-in gatherings at 1 p.m. ET on the third Thursday of each month are an important way for JCC professionals to learn together and create community with peers. The moderated conversation may focus on JCC-specific programs or timely events related to disability and inclusion, but most of the time will be for open dialogue among participants. The next gathering is scheduled for Thursday, February 16. Register here.
- All-Inclusive: An Open Forum for JCC Professionals: These one-hour, once-a-month online drop-in gatherings at 1 p.m. on the first Wednesday of each month offer an opportunity for JCC professionals from all fields to ask questions, pose dilemmas, and share ideas and resources with colleagues throughout the JCC Movement. The next gathering is scheduled for Wednesday, March 1. Register here.
Check out these events and opportunities offered by JCCs in our network across the continent.
- JDAAIM Kickoff Event in Boulder: On Wednesday, February 1, at 6:30 p.m. MT, the Boulder JCC, in partnership with Jewish Family Services Colorado and other community organizations, will host a JDAAIM kickoff event online featuring Rabbis Lauren Tuchman and Julia Appel. Tuchman, an educator and the first blind woman to enter the rabbinate, will describe patterns of isolation among individuals with various disabilities. Appel, senior director of innovation at Clal—The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, will discuss key principles in designing for belonging. Registration is required.
- “My Disability Roadmap” Screening: Join JCC Chicago on February 1, at 7 p.m. CT, for an online screening of the award-winning short documentary “My Disability Roadmap,” about Samuel Habib, a 21-year-old, who wants to date, leave home, go to college. But he drives a 350-pound wheelchair, uses a communication device, and can have a seizure at any moment. Determined to find his path forward, he seeks out guidance from America’s most rebellious disability activists. Register here.
- Comedian and Disability Activist Celebrates JDAAIM: The JCC of Metropolitan Detroit’s Opening the Doors Program will celebrate JDAAIM with comedian and disability activist Pamela Rae Schuller on Tuesday, February 28, at 7 p.m. ET. This event will be presented online, and registration is required.
- Learn to Provide Early Intervention: From March 1-3, the Inclusion Institute at the Mandel JCC in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., will offer a three-day, in-person pilot training program for JCC professionals in other Js to learn to provide early intervention to children with exceptionalities in an inclusive setting. Participants will receive didactic training from leading early intervention experts coupled with hands-on training from Mandel JCC staff about how to implement these systems in JCC classrooms. Learn more and register here. For questions, email John Kabot.
As a leader in creating welcoming and accessible spaces for all, JCC Association’s commitment to people with disabilities and their families extends well beyond the month of February. Keep an eye on this space and our myriad other communications for stories, resources, and materials that highlight our work in this critically important arena.