On a recent visit to a Pikud HaOref, Home Front Command base in Ramle, 14 miles southeast of Tel Aviv, a soldier tells me a very animated story about his role in Operation Protective Edge, Israel’s military operation in Gaza: “My job was to copy the papers for our soldiers to drop from planes over Gaza this summer!” The soldier, in uniform with his bright orange beret on his shoulder, happens to have Down Syndrome.
He is very excited about his job in the base print shop. Another soldier with a visible disability proudly recounts the visit to the base the previous day by IDF Chief of Staff, Benny Ganz. “We saluted him and gave him a present — olive oil that we made on the base!”
Twenty five other soldiers with disabilities perform similarly important jobs each day on the base. If Tiran Attia and other visionaries have their way, Tzahal, or the IDF (Israel Defense Forces), may become a “game changer” in Israel for inclusion and for shaping attitudes about people with disabilities.
There is another part of the Brian Williams story getting too little attention. It is when the million dollar New York celebrity anchors drop in out of the sky to "report" on the crisis du jour that they never really covered.
All it takes is a disaster, tsunami, massacre, war, hurricane and, of course, easy access for planes carrying their camera crews and makeup teams. That's why you're more likely to see them in the Middle East or Europe than Africa or South America.
The Jewish Week Media Group, in partnership with the Ruderman Family Foundation, is proud to announce an innovative competition highlighting North American for profit businesses with exemplary practices in hiring, training and supporting people with disabilities.
Those selected will be recognized with a Ruderman “Best in Business Award” and featured in a June 19 supplement to The Jewish Week, which will be posted on The Jewish Week’s website and distributed in New York and Los Angeles.
“The surest path to full inclusion in our society comes from meaningful employment” said Jay Ruderman, the foundation’s president.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) likes to remind people he is not a scientist, especially when asked difficult questions about global warming, but he doesn't have to be a scientist to understand Albert Einstein's Theory of Insanity.
The greatest scientist of the Twentieth Century defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over and over again and expecting different results each time.
The unprecedented ploy by Benjamin Netanyahu (R-Jerusalem) and Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to go behind the back of the President of the United States to lobby the Congress against the administration's Iran policy could well cause more harm to Israel than anyone else, threatening serious damage to the bipartisan consensus so many have worked so hard for so long to establish.
Editor’s Note: This article appeared in the Fall, 2014 issue of The Journal of Jewish Communal Service, and is disseminated with the permission of its publisher, JPRO Network. Subscriptions at JPRO.org. We are sharing this primer in three parts; to see parts one and two,click here.
Budget the Time and Money That It Will Take to Do It Right. Inclusion is a lot less expensive than most people think, but it takes the right team with the right training to do it effectively. To ensure success and to develop an accurate budget, camps/schools/synagogues need to know how much funds are needed to have the right staff in place, give them the training needed to make them effective, and make the needed accommodations to the physical plant.