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In this four-session online class, we will be looking at what Judaism has to say about the role and agency of people with disabilities as subjects and shapers of their own lives and experiences. How might we use some of our tradition’s most fundamental values regarding human dignity and the inherent value of all as Jewish educators? We will come away not only with a deeper Jewish textual foundation but also tools and strategies for practical application. Topics to be studied include the centrality of Kavod HaBriot—human dignity, the role of people with disabilities in changing traditions to make them more inclusive, the radical underpinnings of being created b’Tzelem Elokim—in the Image of G-d, and innovation as a resilience strategy.

About Rabbi Lauren Tuchman

Based in the Washington, D.C. area, Rabbi Tuchman is a sought after speaker, spiritual leader and educator. Ordained by The Jewish Theological Seminary in 2018, she has taught at numerous synagogues and other Jewish venues throughout North America and was named to the Jewish Week’s 36 under 36 for her innovative leadership concerning inclusion of Jews with disabilities in all aspects of Jewish life. In 2017, she delivered an ELI Talk entitled We All Were At Sinai: The Transformative Power of Inclusive Torah. She has trained and continues to teach with Rabbi David Jaffe and the Inside Out Wisdom and Action Project, which provides a space for Jewish spiritual and contemplative practice for social justice activists rooted in the spiritual discipline of Mussar and the teachings of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov. She serves on the board of JOIN for Justice, which trains Jews in community organizing for social change.