Things just got a shade sweeter at the Sunflower Bakery in Gaithersberg, Maryland.
The kosher pareve bakery, which trains and employs workers with disabilities, won a $50,000 Ruderman Prize in Disability, the Ruderman Family Foundation announced today.
“We are overjoyed to be realizing the dream of preparing young adults with a range of developmental and other cognitive disabilities with marketable skills and workplace experience desired by employers in the pastry and food industries,” Sara Portman Milner and Laurie Wexler, the bakery’s co-founders and co-directors said. “Our graduates are securing and sustaining jobs of their choosing, increasing self-sufficiency and enhancing their self-esteem.”
This is the second year the Ruderman Family Foundation has given these awards, choosing just five organizations from an applicant pool of 244 organizations from across the globe. The Prize recognizes organizations who operate innovative programs and services that foster the full inclusion of people with disabilities in their local Jewish community.
The four other awards went to B’nai Amoona, an egalitarian Conservative synagoguve in St. Louis, Missouri, United Herzlia School in Capte Town, South Africa, AMIT school in Israel, and the Escuela Comunitaria Arlene Fern de la Fundación Judaica in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
“All of this year’s winners around the globe are organizations not focused on the issue of disability but have developed innovative programs to include people with disabilities in the overall mission of their organization,” said Jay Ruderman, President of the Ruderman Family Foundation. “We hope that they serve as shining examples for the rest of the Jewish world of how people with disabilities can be included in all aspects of life.”