Jewish Learning Venture Chief Program Officer Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer received a 2022 Covenant Award for “remarkable leadership, commitment and passion,” the Covenant Foundation announced on June 16.
At JLV, Kaplan-Mayer leads disability awareness training for synagogues, schools and Jewish organizations. She also facilitates a consortium of organizations that work in the disability field across the Greater Philadelphia Jewish community.
Kaplan-Mayer leads seminars and webinars for parents, educators and clergy members;
consults with synagogue inclusion committees and leaders; and designs sensory-friendly family engagement programs. She also directs the Reta Emerson Fellowship/Teen Assistant Program, a training program for teens who volunteer with children who need extra learning support in Hebrew school.
As director of whole community inclusion, Kaplan-Mayer created Jewish Disability Awareness, Acceptance and Inclusion Month Shabbat Across Philadelphia, or JDAIM, and the B’nai Mitzvah Tutor Training Program to support clergy members and tutors in learning how to tutor and lead b’nai mitzvah ceremonies for students with disabilities.
Ms. Kaplan-Mayer also has published several books.
“Through her passion, leadership and mentorship, the Greater Philadelphia
Jewish community has become more understanding, aware of and responsive
to the needs of all of our members,” said Elana Rivel, the CEO at JLV. “She has facilitated the creation of a community where all can truly belong. I have learned so much from her and she is well deserving of this honor.”
“The foundation has supported my efforts to create a more inclusive Jewish community for families (like my own) who are raising Jewish children with disabilities for many years now, and I am grateful that this incredible recognition can further illuminate the issue of disability inclusion, advocacy, and justice,” Kaplan-Mayer said.
Kaplan, who was one of three recipients, will receive $36,000 and JLV will receive $5,000.
The Covenant Foundation has provided $39 million to support Jewish Education in North America since 1991.