Experts in advocacy and service to people with disabilities engaged rabbinical, cantorial, education, and Doctor of Ministry students as well as alumni during a unique day of learning at the New York School devoted to exploring the responsibility and role of Jewish leaders and institutions in creating communities of inclusion and welcome. The Yom Iyyun on February 28 was organized by HUC-JIR in partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism, and included leaders from a broad range organizations and agencies offering assistance to disabled individuals. The event marked the 4th annual Jewish Disability Month of February.
“Based on the success of last year’s Yom Iyyun on Special Needs for the MARE program at the New York School of Education (NYSOE), it was clear that this subject needed at be brought to the entire student and alumni community,” explained Professor Jo Kay, NYSOE Director. Her planning committee included rabbinical student Joshua Beraha, cantorial student Faryn Kates and education student Amanda Farb, and leaders in the field – Rabbi Edythe Mencher, the URJ’s Specialist on Caring Communities and Family Concerns, Dori Frumin Kirschner, the Executive Director of MATAN (dedicated to ensuring that all Jewish children have a rich and meaningful education), Lisa Friedman, Co-Chair of the URJ’s Committee on Access to Jewish Education, and Rabbi Nancy Wiener, Director of the Blaustein Center for Pastoral Counseling at HUC-JIR/New York. “The result was a magical “day of learning,” which has inspired us to continue to build our own commitment to ongoing study and advocacy in addressing the needs of people with Special Needs.” (Read more…)