Written by Meredith Polsky, National Director of Institutes and Training
As February begins, so, too, does Jewish Disabilities Awareness Month. For those of us in the field of Jewish Special Needs, this is our hectic time of year – like tax season for accountants. We’re busier than usual raising awareness, promoting programs, celebrating the Jewish institutions that are doing something to recognize the month, and getting out whatever message is on the agenda of our particular organization.
To that end, Matan will be posting daily on our blog and on our Facebook page. You will see original material, images, quotes and reposts from other organizations. We will be bringing back our popular weekly reflections from prominent Rabbis from all over the country, as they draw inclusion messages from each of the weekly parshiot (Torah portions) in February. You are also invited to send your own community’s Jewish Disability Awareness month events to Lisa@matankids.org so that we can share them via social media.
Judaism teaches that every person is created in God’s image. At Matan, this is something we think about every single day of the year. During February, Jewish Disability Awareness Month, our goal is to reach those in our community who do not necessarily focus on this everyday – not because they disagree, but because “Jewish Special Needs” is just not on their minds at every given moment. We hope to hear from new voices, reach someone we haven’t reached before and open doors that may have previous been closed. We want everyone to know what we know: Our Jewish community is only as strong as its ability to include and honor people with an array of diverse strengths and abilities.