A Jewish Community for All: Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month

Children participate in a Jewish Learning Venture Sensory-Friendly program at the Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History. Courtesy of Jewish Learning Venture

Communities around the world will offer programming to make Jewish spaces more welcoming for all.

“Many of our Jewish traditions find their root in inclusivity,” said the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia’s Director of Community Development Max Moline. “The teachings of Rabbi Hillel, a famous religious leader and scholar, indicate we are nothing if we are not a welcoming and inclusive community. That is why I am proud that the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia participates in JDAIM and supports organizations all year round that focus on inclusion, as a further illustration of this core Jewish value.”

In Greater Philadelphia, there will be several programs hosted by Jewish Learning Venture’s Whole Community Inclusion initiative and the Jewish Special Needs/Disability Awareness Consortium of Greater Philadelphia, which includes the Jewish Federation.

“The Jewish Federation’s support has allowed Jewish Learning Venture to make sure that jkidphilly programming is inclusive and accessible,” said Program Consultant Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer of the Jewish Learning Venture, an organization that receives year-round funding from the Jewish Federation. “We are able to provide accommodations, such as ASL interpreters and social stories and visual schedules, for all programs as requested by families and provide training to our staff and parent ambassadors.”

To see the full list and registration information for how to get involved both in-person and virtually throughout the month that celebrate and promote diversity and inclusion, visit jewishphilly.org/JDAIM.

JDAIM Shabbat
Friday, Feb. 2 | 6-9 p.m.
Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel
Welcome in Shabbat with Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel and Association for Adults with Developmental Disabilities for the warmth of community and friendship Shabbat dinner and Shabbat Services. A festive oneg will follow services.

JDAIM Shabbat
Saturday, Feb. 3 | 9:15 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
Mekor Habracha
Join Mekor Habracha, also known as the Center City Synagogue, for a Shabbat focused on disability awareness and inclusion. Rabbi Hirsch will give a sermon that relates to the theme of acceptance and welcoming.

JDAIM Shabbat
Saturday, Feb. 3 | 10 a.m.-noon.
Darchei Noam
Join our inclusive service that will spotlight our sixth-grade class who will be reading from the Torah and also leading parts of the service.

JDAIM Shabbat
Friday, Feb. 16 | 6:30-8 p.m.
Main Line Reform Temple
All are welcome to our program, featuring a pianist and composer who will share his music and journey after a spinal cord injury changed his life.

Sensory-Friendly Sunday at the Weitzman
Sunday, Feb. 18 | 1-3 p.m.
Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History
Get ready for a fun afternoon at the museum with jkidphilly! To make the event accessible for children with sensory sensitivity, the audio media at the museum will be turned to a low volume. Participants will enjoy a storytime, a kid-friendly gallery walk and a special craft activity.

Disability Wisdom: A Conversation with Rabbi Julia Watts Belser
Wednesday, Feb. 21 | 7-8 p.m.
Delve into disability politics that reimagines disability in the Bible and contemporary culture through a book talk and community conversation with Jewish Learning Venture’s Whole Community Inclusion initiative. The program will feature Rabbi Julia Watts Belser, who will share from her new book, “Loving Our Own Bones: Disability Wisdom and the Spiritual Subversiveness of Knowing Ourselves Whole.”


The Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia provides support to create a more inclusive community locally, in Israel and around the world. You can help this mission by making a gift at jewishphilly.org/donate.


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