Friday, July 10, 2015 / Views

Not So Special: My Bar Mitzvah Year, 50 Years Later

By Rabbi Michael Levy, Board President (originally written for the Jewish Week’s New Normal blog, May 26, 2015) In 1965, the phrase “special needs” hadn’t yet been coined. I felt just like the other 15 students — excited about our Bar Mitzvahs, but bored by the four hours of preparation each week. Boys Will Be Boys We found various diversions …Read more >

Thursday, April 2, 2015 / Views

The Four Sons through a Disability Lens

by Rabbi Michael Levy, Board President   In your mind’s eye, look around at those with whom you have celebrated past Seders. A contemplative girl is full of incisive questions. “How could a respected family in Egypt so quickly become an enslaved nation?  Why was Pharaoh so stubborn?” There’s The Squirmer.  If he doesn’t declare outright that he’d rather not be at …Read more >

Thursday, September 25, 2014 / Views

The RCA: Moving Towards a Mandate

[The following piece appeared on the Ruderman Family Foundation blog on September 16, 2014.] “Check this Out!” appeared in the subject line on an email to me by Rabbi Barry Kornblau, Director of Member Services from the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA). My heart pounding with anticipation, I double clicked the subject line. It was a press release entitled “Disabled …Read more >

Wednesday, September 24, 2014 / Views

“Special” Does Not A Disability Make

By Sharon Shapiro-Lacks, Executive Director Yad HaChazakah – JDEC (Published in the “Building Blocks” supplement of The Jewish Press, June 28, 2013.) As a woman who has lived with Cerebral Palsy all my life, I pay close attention to the terminology that is applied to people with disabilities. Words such as “invalid,” “cripple,” “dumb,” or “retard” have always hurt me …Read more >

Wednesday, March 19, 2014 / Views

Reflections on Reelablities at Yad HaChazakah

Reflections on Reelablities at Yad HaChazakah by Lynne Cassouto, Board Treasurer On Sunday, March 9, 2014, Yad HaChazakah-The Jewish Disability Empowerment Center participated in the Sixth Annual Reelabilities Film Festival, screening four compelling and thought provoking films in our Brooklyn offices. The films were presented in two sessions, each consisting of one short and one feature-length film, followed by Q …Read more >

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