I’m not usually one for resolutions. I find that despite good intentions, I typically revise or abandon one, if not most, of my resolutions by the end of January. Maybe it’s because, as a Jew, New Year’s feels a little redundant. We’ve already welcomed our new year, and the celebration of Rosh Hashanah follows a month of reflection and introspection.
Yesterday, I defended my dissertation, which explored the role of religion on the daily livesof Jewish parents of children with autism. I am grateful both to the people who supported me through the years – my family, friends, classmates and professors – and also to the parents who participated in my research.
When most people think of the New Jersey YM-YWHA Camps they likely think of their specialty summer programs designed to develop skills in sports and other areas. After all, former Yankee Ron Blomberg, NBA basketball coach Herb Brown, and Olympic swimmer Lenny Krayzelburg teach at their camps. But this year, in addition to baseball, basketball, swimming, soccer, tennis, ceramics, painting, jewelry making, astronomy and cinematography the NJY camp also included a first-rate experience in inclusion of campers with disabilities.
As we start the New Year, it’s important to look back on what was accomplished for inclusion of Jews with disabilities this past year. We planted the seeds for future progress. Most of the work focused on “setting the table” for inclusion: raising awareness, creating critical policies and standards, and developing and conducting training for professionals. Hopefully, 2014 will be the year of implementation. Meanwhile, here are the top plays and players of 2013.