“A human being mints many coins from the same mold, and they are all identical. But the holy one, blessed by God, strikes us all from the mold of the first human and each one of us is unique.”
Mishnah Sanhedrin 4:5
Welcome to February!
February is Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month (JDAIM), an opportunity to highlight the best of Jewish inclusion, and to explore how we can accomplish even more. At Matan, this work is our everyday – everything we do is aimed at creating a more inclusive Jewish community. However, even at Matan, JDAIM affords us the opportunity to take stock – to both celebrate our progress, recognize where we have fallen short and be even more planful about inclusion in every aspect of Jewish life.
And that’s the point – right down to the design of the JDAIM logo! We weave inclusion into the fabric of Jewish life. At current Matan Institutes, our year-long flagship training program, we work to understand theories of change. The process of change is long and challenging; making changes to entire systems is no simple feat. But it is necessary in order to ensure that all Jewish learners are included in the fabric of Jewish life.
I consider myself fortunate that I recently joined the Matan team and can focus my professional life on something I feel so committed to personally. I also continue to teach in supplemental schools because I want to practice what I preach. I want every child to have a relationship to Judaism. It is not for me to say or define what that relationship is. If I can make learning accessible, fun and interesting, I have started the process of building that connection.
The student who first inspired me to do this work has told me that the temple is his home. It is where he feels best about himself and his abilities. And that was the best affirmation I have ever received.
Matan Institute Graduate, Cohort 6