Blogs

Running Scared

With the GOP congressional leadership's "hope and prayer" strategy for dumping Donald Trump having collapsed, they've moved to the public handwringing and clumsy plotting phase.

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

“Shulamit,” Opera Based On The Song of Songs, Returns

Operas set in ancient times are rare, but Russian-Israeli musician Dina Pruzhansky has created “Shulamit,” whose story is based on the Song of Songs.

Russian-Israeli musician Dina Pruzhansky has created “Shulamit,” whose story is based on the Song of Songs. Image/Youtube

Special Needs Or Disabilities? What’s The Difference?

Nearly sixteen years ago my synagogue hired me as our Religious School’s Special Needs Consultant. Within a year that title changed to Special Needs Coordinator. A subtle shift, but one that we believe demonstrated our commitment to the permanence of our program.  Today I serve as a full-time Education Director with oversight of our inclusion efforts. But if anyone asks me what I do for a living, my reply is typically that I am a Jewish Educator and a Jewish Inclusion Expert.

Have We Made Advances? Courtesy of Lisa Friedman

Questioning Politicians

Why is Donald Trump afraid to release his tax returns?  He keeps promising to do it and putting it off.  Is it that he didn't pay very much or anything at all?  Mitt Romney thinks "We have good reason to believe there's a bombshell in Donald Trumps taxes." Either he's not anywhere near as wealthy as says he is, or he hasn't been paying the taxes he should or he's not giving level of contributions to vets, the disabled and others he has boasted of, Romney said.

Honoring Helene Aylon's Lifetime Of Achievement

Deep family pride was on display earlier this month in Washington, DC when Jewish artist/activist Helene Aylon, 85, became one of four artists to receive a lifetime achievement award from the Women’s Caucus for Art.

Helene Aylon and Brenda Dixon Gottschild at the WCA Awards. Jennifer McZier

Coming Out Of Hiding: Revealing A Mental Disability

When my boss, Dana Marlowe, shared her blog post about emplyment and mental disability, I had mixed emotions. This isn’t rare for me. As someone with a mental disability, I’m used to sifting through varying moods and thoughts to determine the answer the deceptively simple question: How do you feel?

Coming from the perspective of an employee whom many other employers might not have hired, I’m grateful to work for a company that values my contributions. On the other hand, I worry for others who might not have found their fit in a supportive workplace.

Sharon Rosenblatt. Courtesy of Daniella Lager

My Brother, My Rebbe

My brother is my rebbe and my greatest teacher. He has taught me that our greatest passion must be compassion. He has taught me what it means to be a loving, kind, and sensitive individual. Born with Fragile X, a genetic condition that causes intellectual disability, behavioral and learning challenges, Mike has never allowed his disabilities to define him. In fact, he continually defies it. Most importantly, Mike has shown me and everyone around him what it means to be resilient, to have true grit. He is the only one who decides what he can and cannot do.

Jon and Mike. Courtesy of Jon Leener

Diversity, Republican Style

Republicans claim that country's only Indian-American Republican governor, Nikki Haley (now that Bobby Jindal is out of office) and the country's only African American Republican senator, Tim Scott, endorsing the anti-immigration son of a Cuban immigrant, Marco Rubio, constitutes diversity in the GOP, which has only one Jewish member in the entire Congress. 

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