For the last several years, the Jewish community has designated February as a time to focus on raising awareness of the needs of individuals with disabilities and their families. In Boston, we strive to make this a year-round pursuit, but that doesn't preclude marking Jewish Disability Awareness Month (JDAM). Many organizations have taken this opportunity to update or share new information. Here's a quick guide.
At JewishBoston.com, we've taken the opportunity to refresh some of the content on our Disabilities Resouces page. We'll also be featuring events and blog posts germane to the month on our homepage -- but then again, we feature content about people with disabilities on a regular basis.
CJP, in addition to bringing JewishBoston.com to the world, supports a wide range of organizations doing work in the field, including special education, housing, and vocational training and placement. CJP has just updated their list of programs and services for individuals with disabilities and their families.
Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters offers a few different programs for adults with disabilities. You can take a peek at the experience of one volunteer in the Friend 2 Friend program in the blog post From The Mail Bag.
The first full week of February is full of great movies about the experiences of individuals with disabilities as the Boston Jewish Film Festival hosts the Boston edition of the REELAbilities festival. See the whole schedule online.
Chaverim Chaim is a great program for adults with disabilities that's cosponsored by a whole bunch of organizations. The JCC describes the program well in this blog post. They have a Havdalah & Dancing event coming up at the end of the month.
One of the other organizations that cosponsors Chaverim Chaim is Jewish Family & Children's Service of Greater Boston. Sandy Slavet, the director of JF&CS's Disabilities Resource Network, writes that Inclusion is a Jewish Value. With that in mind, JF&CS is offering two programs around the Jewish holiday of Tu BiShvat: a Chaverim Shel Shalom Tu BiShvat Nosh & Learn on February 6th, and a K'Sharim Tu BiShvat Seder with Congregation Shaarei Tefillah on February 7th.
Chaverim Shel Shalom closes out the month with another Nosh & Learn, this time on Learning Self-Advocacy.
Finally, Gateways: Access to Jewish Educaiton has updated their resources for Shabbat, Holidays, and Bar/Bat Mitzvah preparation.
We hope to share more information as the month progresses, and we'd love to hear from you too. What are you advocating for, learning about, and celebrating this year for JDAM?