Jewish Community

A Death That Impoverishes Us All: Saying Farewell To Elie Wiesel

07/07/2016 - 11:33

Jews and non-Jews from all walks of life, from the world-famous to the most humble, have already written eloquent, pained obituaries for Elie Wiesel, whose death last Shabbat came upon us like a punch in the stomach for which we were ill-prepared, despite his illness. I humbly add these words.

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik

The Tuition Crisis At 20: What Now?

06/20/2016 - 16:24
Special To The Jewish Week
  • “Day schools ... are having trouble paying their bills. The problem is, the predominant sources of their income — parents — are having even more trouble keeping up with rising tuitions.”
     
  • “The Jewish community has virtually disowned those of us of moderate income.”
     
  • “It has been said, only partly in jest, that the high cost of day school education promotes birth control.”
Jeff Kiderman

Blaming Obama For Orlando

Hysteria seems to be gripping the GOP. So many say they don't like Trump's tone and politics of hate but that hasn't stopped them from replicating it. Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) said President Barack Obama was "directly responsible" for the Orlando terror attack because "he pulled everybody out of Iraq, al-Qaeda went to Syria, became ISIS." 

He lamely took a tiny step back saying he meant Obama's "policies" were "directly responsible" for the tragedy in Florida.

Exploring And Interpreting Disability In The Bible: Clearly And Comprehensively, Part II

In Part I of Exploring and Interpreting Disability in the Bible, a "wide-angle" perspective showed that the Bible does not often segregate the disabled. If biblical models encourage integration, why are many of us with disabilities still segregated?

Speak Out For Change On Child Abuse Laws

05/26/2016 - 16:32

Our Torah, our history, and our God demand us to pursue justice. As Jews, we are called to stand with the oppressed and the mistreated. We are endowed with a sacred responsibility to seek and pursue justice where it has been denied.

Rabbi Ari Hart

At AIPAC Conference, Improved Inclusion Efforts For People With Disabilities

As all organizations know, it is much easier to say you will be inclusive than to actually become inclusive. Real inclusion is intentional, not accidental. It takes real leadership and implementation efforts. Thankfully, during the past two years, AIPAC has made huge strides in this arena.

USCJ Receives Continuing Support On Inclusion Initiative From Ruderman Family Foundation

The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (USCJ) will build on the successful launch of the Ruderman Inclusion Action Community initiative to transform Conservative congregations into truly inclusive communities for people with disabilities, thanks to continuing support from the Ruderman Family Foundation (RFF) in the form of a $375,000 three-year grant.

Through the grant, USCJ will continue to provide expertise and consulting to its affiliated congregations to develop comprehensive visions and action plans on inclusion. 

The Ruderman Inclusion Summit. Courtesy of the Ruderman Family Foundation

'Special Needs,' 'Inclusion,' 'Disability' Or None Of The Above? Why Labels Matter

I've often thought about the question of the terms we use such as “Special Needs,” “Inclusion,” or “Disability,” and which words are best to open lines of communication? I do not have any hearing in my right ear. I also have a noticeable facial discoloration on parts of my right face that leads some people to think that I have had a stroke, and, over the years, I have used several orthotic devices and sometimes a cane for balance.

"Label Jars Not People." Courtesy of Jay Wilson

#JDAIM16: Disability And Language

Editor's Note: February is Jewish Disability Awareness & Inclusion Month, an international effort to raise awareness (#JDAIM16 on twitter). "The New Normal" will share blogs all month long about the language we use when we talk about disability. Please comment here or on our Facebook page — share with your community and join the conversation!

Does it really matter what we call people? Is terminology and language use important? By now you may think you have heard too much about person-first language, or at least the intent which is to emphasize the person and not the label. This works for most groups, although increasingly those who are autistic, or at least organizations representing them, seem to prefer the term "autistics" over "people with autism" (Read more about that debate here). 

So what does it really matter?

Steven Eidelman

Blogging Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month - #JDAIMblogs

Editor's Note: Next week begins Jewish Disability Awareness & Inclusion Month--a time when the Jewish community puts extra focus on the inclusion of people with disabilities. At "The New Normal," we know that this is a 365-day effort and appreciate all of our readers and contributors giving attention to this issue. We are sharing this blog from contributor Lisa Friedman and will be featuring a series of blogs about disability and language through the month.

For those of you who have been following this event for a few years or more, you will note that the acronym has changed. Since 2009, Jewish Disability Awareness Month has taken place each February with the tagline “From Awareness to Inclusion”. In keeping with that trend, the various organizers of this annual event have added “I” for inclusion right into the title: Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month.

#JDAIM16 Blogs. Courtesy of Lisa Friedman
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