In a recent Washington Post article, Rivka Solomon wrote, “For years my chronic illness kept me isolated. The pandemic helped me get closer to my community. I have been a member of my synagogue for seven years, and yet until last year my fellow congregants did not know me and I did not know them.”
If the pandemic has a silver lining, it may be Zoom gatherings. Zoom has provided many of us with opportunities to gather even when we are not able to be together physically. Zoom has offered new opportunities for people who cannot usually come to synagogue to fully participate in their Jewish communities, including those with disabilities, those who cannot drive and those joining from a distance.
This program is intended to develop Jewish disability awareness, provide education and motivate action. This will be an opportunity to hear a variety of stories from people with disabilities. Our goal is to support the adaptive changes we have made during the pandemic so that those who are not able to join their congregations in person can still fully participate in their Jewish communities. We will explain why we prefer interactive modalities (such as Zoom) over live-streaming.
- Jacob Speaks (works with a number of disability groups with a focus on those recently diagnosed with spinal-cord diseases and is the chair of the Non-Exclusion Committee at the JCA)
- Rivka Solomon (writer, disabled advocate and organizer with the Massachusetts ME/CFS & FM Association)
- Rebecca Redner (educational specialist at Gateways: Access to Jewish Education and living with the post-viral illness ME/CFS)
- Rabbi Benjamin Weiner (spiritual leader of the Jewish Community of Amherst, writer, scholar of Yiddish and Irish literature, musician and homesteader)
Everyone is welcome to join us for this community-wide forum. We especially encourage synagogue decision-makers to attend.
ASL signing will be included in this program.+ More... - Less...
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