Blogs

President Obama Signs the ABLE Act

President Obama on Friday signed into law the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act which will allow families with children with disabilities to save for college and other expenses in tax-deferred accounts. The legislation was co-sponsored by Sens. Bob Casey (D-PA) and Richard Burr (R-NC).

The ABLE Act, first introduced in 2008, amends the Internal Revenue Service Code to allow use of tax-free savings accounts for individuals with disabilities. Families will be allowed to use the funds in the savings accounts to cover education, housing, medical and transportation expenses, among others.

Creating An Inclusive Chanukah Program In Our School

As an educator in a fully inclusive supplemental religious school, which is part of a fully inclusive Reform congregation, one of the questions I am most often asked is “How do you do it?” I am eager to share my thoughts and suggestions, especially if it means that other congregations will move toward greater inclusion. And yet, while I share and have written articles such as Ten Steps to Make Your Congregation More Inclusive, I’d be lying if I said that you’d be all set if you just read and followed the exact steps that my congregation followed. You can’t just wrap our process up with a bow, plunk it down into your community and say, “OK, now we are inclusive.”

That is because inclusion is not a program.

At Beth-El's Chanukah Program. Courtesy of Lisa Friedman

Last Chance: Hirshbein's Drama, Now In English

“On the Other Side of the River” opens promisingly: eerie bell-like music plays softly, and the set, three flats covered with stiffened, rippling gray gauze, seems to suggest a cave receding in the distance – until the lights come up, transforming them into a river, in a beautiful union of lighting and scenic design. 

Jane Cortney as Mir’l. Courtesy New Worlds Theater Project. Hunter Canning

A Chanukah Miracle For Allan Gross

"Hag sameach."  Those were the first words of the newly freed Alan Gross at his Washington press conference Wednesday afternoon.

After five years in a Cuban prison for trying to smuggle Internet equipment to the communist country's tiny Jewish community, he was freed as part of a dramatic change in relations between Havana and Washington..

Gross gave special thanks to the Greater Washington Jewish Community Relations Council and its executive director, Ron Halber, for their ongoing campaign for his freedom.

Meet King David At The Metropolitan Museum

 Elie Wiesel describes the Bible as “the pull of my childhood, a fascination with the vanished world, and I can find everything except that world.”

I feel much the same way, which is why the Metropolitan Museum’s exhibit “Assyria to Iberia at the Dawn of the Classical Age” so thrilled me. The premise of the exhibit isn’t Israel or the Bible.  Rather, it explores cross-cultural interaction and global communication during the Assyrian Empire from roughly 1200 – 400 BCE, the time period that many major Biblical events took place. 

"House of David" inscription, ca. 830 BCE,Israel Antiquities Authority, courtesy of The Israel Museum. Meidad Suchowolski

Eight Ways To Build A More Inclusive Community

It’s Chanukah, and we’re thinking in eights. Here are eight steps we all can take towards making a more inclusive community for people of all abilities all year long.

1. Use People-First Language: The words used to describe us have an impact on our lives. One important change that many of us can make is to shift how we talk about people with disabilities — doing so helps to shift our perspectives and see the whole person. Put the person before the disability. David is a child who has autism, not an autistic child. Click here for resources to help guide you in using people-first language.

Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer

An Exchange Of Gifts

I became aware of this man – I’ll call him Joe – as he often sat across from me at the cafeteria-style eatery we both frequented. Around four decades older than I, he was no shrinking violet. If I had my daily paper spread out to the side of and behind my bagel, egg and coffee meal, he’d say something like, “Do you think I could have a couple inches of the table?” 

Rather than get annoyed, I liked his feistiness and I would quickly move my paper to give him as much room as possible.

Alan Magill

Chanukah Resources For All Children

Chanukah is here! Have your children forgotten the blessings since last year? Do they need to brush up on their Chanukah skills? Do you need some activities for that Chanukah bash you are throwing? Look no further!

Below is a list of resources for everything you will need to make Chanukah accessible and fun, for everyone:

Learning about Chanukah. Courtesy of Gateways

Zeldin To Co-Chair House GOP Israel Caucus

Congressman-elect Lee Zeldin of Long Island, the only Jewish Republican in the incoming 114th Congress, was elected co-chair of the 100-member House Republican Caucus. 

Other co-chairs are Reps Peter Roskam of Illinois, Doug Lamborn of Colorado and Leonard Lance of New Jersey. 

Roskam, in announcing the appointment, stressed the strategic relationship between the United States and Israel but made no mention of the search for peace with the Palestinians.

Light Up, It's Chanukah In Washington

Joe Biden won't be riding the cherry picker to the top of the National Menorah Tuesday afternoon; instead he'll light the a symbolic shames candle from the ground while others will ride up to light the first candle of Hanukah for the 4 p.m. ceremony on the Ellipse behind he White House.

Syndicate content