Raise awareness and champion the rights of all Jews, including Jews with disabilities, to be respected, valued, and included in all aspects of Jewish community life.
We had 15 students on Zoom; about an equal number of Baltimore participants as out of town. Some of the students are from Baltimore and are currently college students who are living out of state as well. We encouraged people to take more classes as well as participate in Deaf events, like the ASL Meet Up. We have several past ASL students who have developed friendships and have kept up with learning and practicing.
Parents or grandparents and children of all ages were able to read about Judith Heumann, a lifelong civil rights advocate for people with disabilities. Participants received discussion questions and an Accessibility I Spy activity.
We had two special Tot Shabbats that highlighted JDAIM. One included a special guest from our Deaf community, Shira, who helped the participants learn some signs for Shabbat words. We also had Tot Shabbat at We Rock the Spectrum, an inclusive play gym that features sensory equipment including a calming space and adaptive gym equipment. Many of the families had never been there before and appreciated the opportunity to learn about a space that’s inclusive and welcoming for all.
Our Director of Diversity & Inclusion, Rachel Turniansky, helped Beth Israel Congregation host a sensory-friendly Shabbat program by consulting with their team and lending them sensory equipment.