Jewish Community

Ruderman Family Foundation Awards $250,000 To Five Inclusion In Disability Innovators

The Ruderman Family Foundation announced today the five winners of the fourth annual global Ruderman Prize in Inclusion competition. The Prize honors Jewish organizations who operate innovative programs and provide services that foster the full inclusion of people with disabilities in their local Jewish community. The winners: Yavne Institute (Montevideo, Uruguay), Jewish Family Service Association of Cleveland (Cleveland, United States), Kisharon’s Adult Employment Programme (London, United Kingdom), Room on the Bench (Brooklyn, United States) and Beit Hillel (Ra’anana, Israel). Each winner will receive $50,000 to continue their work and pursue new opportunities for inclusion in their local communities.More information about each prize winner is listed below.

Obama, Jewish Leaders Exchange Concerns About Distortions And Attacks In Iran Deal Debate

08/05/2015
JTA

Washington — President Barack Obama and pro-Israel leaders exchanged concerns about how each side distorts the other’s arguments in the debate over the Iran nuclear deal, and how the distortions are creating divisions in the Jewish community.

President Barack Obama and Jewish leaders met for two hours at the White House, Aug. 4, 2015. JTA

Exhibit Recounts St. John Paul II’s Relationship To Jewish Community

07/30/2015
RNS

Vatican City - An exhibition exploring the relationship between St. John Paul II and the Jewish community opened at the Vatican on Wednesday (July 29), weaving together the story of the Polish pontiff’s life against the backdrop of Jewish history.

Pope John Paul II chats with emeritus Rabbi of Rome Elio Toaff as Abdulawahab Hussein Gomaa, imam of Rome Mosque, looks on. RNS

Separate Is Never Equal: 25 Years After The ADA

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Legacy bus has been touring across the United States for some months as part of the 25th anniversary celebration. The bus travels with important displays about the history of civil rights of people with disabilities in the U.S.

The Legacy Tour bus made one of its stops in Atlanta at the end of May while I was attending the Summer Institute on Theology and Disability (SITD). The SITD participants, people involved in diverse faith community disability inclusion initiatives, posed for a photo with the bus.

Marking 25 Years Of The Americans With Disabilities Act: Access to Religious Institutions Is The Last Frontier

Editor's Note: Over the next week, we will sharing a number of different voices reflecting on the 25th anniversary of the ADA. Be sure to follow and share!

Jubilation was in the air on July 26th 1990 when President George Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). “And today, America welcomes into the mainstream of life all of our fellow citizens with disabilities. We embrace you for your abilities and for your disabilities, for our similarities and indeed for our differences, for your past courage and your future dreams,” President Bush asserted.

At last we were recognized as a part of the fabric of American society, history, and potential. 

Array Of Major Jewish Groups Urge Solidarity Shabbat With African Americans

06/24/2015

Washington — An array of Jewish groups representing every major religious stream has declared this coming Shabbat one of solidarity with the African American community in the wake of the Charleston, S.C. mass killing.

Rapper Ice Cube Melts Down, Beats Up Rabbi

06/01/2015

Ice Cube has never had the most cordial relationship with the Jewish community. In 1991, the Simon Wiesenthal Center condemned his album “Death Certificate,” noting that many lyrics were racist and one of the songs called for the murder of a Jewish music industry figure. His song “No Vaseline” has been criticized for its line directed at his former group NWA, which he says “let a white Jew tell [them] what to do.”

Ice Cube speaking at at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace during CinemaCon on April 23, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. JTA

Rome Chief Rabbi, Pope Meet At Vatican

04/28/2015

Rome — The chief rabbi of Rome, Riccardo Di Segni, met with Pope Francis at the Vatican.

Sam Gelfand: Speaking Out On Asperger Syndrome, Bullying and Jewish Community

Editor's Note: I was delighted to be an audience member last spring when Sam Gelfand, a teenager from Florida, presented to a group of Jewish educators at Boston's Hebrew College about his experiences living with Asperger Syndrome. In the last few years, Sam has spoken to schools, synagogues, camps and other Jewish organizations, sharing his first-hand experiences of living with Asperger Syndrome. Sam is an incredibly engaging speaker and would love to share his powerful message with your community.

NN: Sam, since you were 12 years old, you have been speaking to communities about what it's like to live with Aspergers. Were you initially afraid to speak in front of audiences? What got you through it?

SG: Believe it or not, I have never gotten stage fright. If anything, I feel that the pressure of speaking in front of a live audience actually forces me to do better.

Synagogues In NYC Too Big To Lose Dues

Is New York too big for the increasingly popular voluntary dues model? Local congregations weigh in.

04/08/2015
Staff Writer

At the beginning of January, board members of Temple Beth Abraham, a Reform synagogue in Tarrytown, met in the president’s living room to discuss a hot topic these days: synagogue dues.

Beth Abraham Rabbi David Holtz and synagogue president Herb Baer look at plans for new Tarrytown building.  Michael Datikash/JW
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