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Posted: Wed, 09/14/2016 - 08:21 | The New Normal

I have feared the day the school bus stops coming for my son Noah for so long that I’m not sure I recall a time when that fear didn’t dog me. In fact, it feels as if I’ve held onto that fear as long as I’ve held onto him. The day is now officially a year away, since Noah started his last year of high school September 1, 2016. 

I recall vividly, with each of my kids, the promise embedded in each first day of school. I picked out their clothes, put little backpacks with some favorite character emblazoned on it over their shoulders, and walked with them to pre-school. Then I brought them to the bus stop for their first day of kindergarten. Everything felt so full of hope. One son graduated from college a year ago. My daughter just started her junior year of high school. Noah will finish his sixth year of high school this year and then go off a cliff.

Posted: Mon, 09/12/2016 - 16:13 | The New Normal

For the second year, the Ruderman Family Foundation has partnered with The Jewish Week Media Group to select exemplary companies that train, hire and support employees with disabilities for the Ruderman Best in Business Award.

Starting at the end of March 2016, we embarked on a social media campaign to solicit nominees for companies across America that train, support and hire people with disabilities. Over an eight-week period, nominations came in from employers, advocates, customers and people with disabilities, explaining why their nominee should receive this honor. 

Posted: Sun, 09/11/2016 - 17:55 | The New Normal

Since March of 2015, six New York area synagogues have been focused on tangibly weaving the inclusion of people with disabilities in the fabric of their communities. UJA-Federation of New York, with funding from the Leo Oppenheimer & Flora Oppenheimer Haas Foundation, piloted The Synagogue Inclusion Project, a groundbreaking 18-month pilot program to create a replicable, sustainable approach to integrating members of our community with disabilities. The pilot synagogue cohort included synagogues large and small, Conservative and Reform, urban and suburban. What bound them together was a stated desire to be inclusive of people with disabilities, but an underlying doubt that they were having the desired impact.

Posted: Thu, 09/08/2016 - 13:56 | The New Normal

Now that the summer has come to an end, it is time for parents to think about the fall season, back to school, and catching up on doctors and dentist check-up appointments. Visiting the dentist can be a frightening sensory experience for some children with autism. Here are some tips when taking your child with autism to the dentist.

Posted: Wed, 09/07/2016 - 09:27 | The New Normal

While there are multiple Jews in Congress and the Senate, only one Jew serves at the chief executive of their state: Governor Jack Markell of Delaware. He is term-limited, so sadly his tenure in this office will end soon. He is a major hero in public life, so it’s worth your time to look at his expansive contributions.

Posted: Wed, 08/31/2016 - 10:14 | The New Normal

At Camp Ramah, Israel is central. Dozens of Israeli shlichim (emissaries) “bring” Israel to our nine overnight camps and four day camps in North America each summer. And, for decades, campers have been participating in a variety of programs through Ramah Israel including Ramah Israel Seminar, Tichon Ramah Yerushalayim (TRY), Ramah Israel Institute, and Ramah Jerusalem Day Camp.

Campers with disabilities in our inclusive camping programs have many opportunities to form meaningful relationships each summer with the shlichim, who serve as bunk counselors and teach swimming, sports, arts and crafts, dance, and more.