In recent years the Ruderman Family Foundation, based in Boston and Israel, has emerged to play a leading role in advocating for greater inclusion of people with disabilities in Jewish life. February is Jewish Disabilities Awareness Month, a time to remind our readers that The Jewish Week’s well-read, innovative blog, “The New Normal: Blogging Disability,” highlights successes and challenges through important voices on inclusion. The writers include people with disabilities, their family members, professionals in the field and others seeking to educate the community about the practical, moral and ethical importance of inclusion.
Jay Ruderman, President of the Ruderman Family Foundation and a national leader on disability inclusion issues, has called on CNN to apologize for a derogatory remark toward people with disabilities made by CNN anchorman Jim Clancy.
In a bizarre Twitter exchange, CNN Anchor Jim Clancy responded to a critical Tweet with “Get a grip, junior. It’s my Friday night. You and the Hasbara team need to pick on some cripple on the edge of the herd.”
Last week I observed a first-of-its kind gathering – a five-day intensive professional training for American Jewish leaders on inclusion of people with disabilities. The forum took place in a kosher retreat center outside of Baltimore, and people had came from many cities to learn a special curriculum that was designed by inclusion experts Shelly Christensen and Prof. Steve Eidelman.
In just a couple of days, nearly five thousand Reform Jews will descend upon the San Diego Convention Center for the 72nd Union of Reform Judaism Biennial Convention. Despite that impressive number, this experience has not been fully inclusive of those with disabilities.
We here at the New Normal are very excited to say that tonight will be hosting Eustacia Cutler, Susan Nussbaum and Dr. Nancy Crown at "Understanding Difference," a public discussion about disability and inclusion.