Blogs

The Synagogue Inclusion Project: Park Avenue Synagogue

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.

Affixing mezuzah at accessible heights. Courtesy of Shelley Cohen

Autism And Dentistry: A Guide To Making Appointments Easier

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.

Autism. Courtesy of Fotalia

Gov. Markell: America’s Jewish Governor, Standing Up For Disabilities

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.

The author and other RespectAbility board members with Gov. Markell. Courtesy of Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi

McCain Latest To Dump Trump

No sooner did John McCain win his primary last Tuesday than he wrote off Donald Trump for president.  His pitch to voters is send him back to Washington for a sixth term so he can block President Hillary Clinton's plans.

Four Questions On Deciding To Passover Trump

Why is this candidate different from all other Republican candidates?

1. Why is he so appealing to neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klansmen and white supremacists when his opponent is not?

2. Why have so many leading Republicans refused to endorse him, un-endorsed him, said they won't vote for him or have said they'll vote for Hillary Clinton?

3. Why is he so full of contempt for so many people, especially immigrants, minorities, the disabled and women?

How To Save Israel

Israel is in turmoil and there is only one solution, said former Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) upon returning from her most recent visit to the Holy Land. Jesus is "coming soon" and the Jews must convert to Christianity while there is still time.

Barbra Streisand Wants To Meet Me

I've been a big fan of Barbra Streisand for more than 50 years, since I was in college, and I was thrilled to learn she wants to meet me.

"Dear Douglas, I'm spending an evening campaigning with Hillary in New York City next week, and I would love to meet you there," she wrote to me.  "I want you to be right up front when I sing."

I was so excited I began worrying about what I'd wear for such an auspicious occasion.  I wonder if my tux still fits.

Join Ramah's First-Ever Tikvah Family Israel Trip

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.

Tikvah participants in Israel. Courtesy of Howard Blas

Trump's Jewish Mini-Me

At a time when most Congressional Republicans are trying to distance themselves from Donald Trump, one is behaving like a clone of his party's presidential candidate, complete with mind-numbing outrageous charges and incendiary rhetoric.

Rep. Lee Zeldin, the lone Jewish Republican in this Congress, has called Barack Obama a "racist," sounded like a Trump birther questioning the president's heritage, accused him of having "no idea what he is doing" and implying he committed treason.

Who Will Bibi Endorse?

There has been speculation that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu plans to endorse Donald Trump or at least would like to see him become the next president.

That's what former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a close Trump advisor, reported after meeting with the prime minister and other top officials on his recent trip to Israel.

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