Federation awards $50k to inclusion programs

Jewish Federation of St. Louis has awarded $50,000 in grants to 14 Jewish schools, agencies and congregations for inclusive programs. This is the second year that the Jewish Federation of St. Louis has allocated Mini Grants in order to help Jewish organizations eliminate some of the barriers for full inclusion of individuals with disabilities and their families in the Jewish community. The 14 projects present a variety of inclusive programs around topics such as accessibility, employment, student support and training/workshops.

2016 Inclusion Mini Grant Recipients and Projects:

Bais Abraham Congregation: “Facilitating Accessibility”— to solve accessibility barriers by installing a ramp and a lower call button to the front door, renovate bathroom for wheelchair accessibility and work with a consultant as part of the process to make the entire building accessible.

Congregation B’nai Amoona: “Improvement of Sanctuary Accessibility” — to improve sanctuary accessibility by purchasing special seats with arms for members with mobility challenges.

Congregation Shaare Emeth: “Supporting for Success” — to insure full integration of students with disabilities in religious school studies by purchasing iPads and supporting technology to help these students with their learning challenges.

Covenant Place: “Accessible Apartments for Covenant Place I” — to make accessibility modifications for nine apartments in the new Covenant Place building that would include adaptations for residents with vision, hearing and mobility challenges.

Crown Center for Senior Living: “Open Door Project” — to improve accessibility for residents with physical and mobility disabilities by installing automatic openers on restroom doors.

Friends of Israel Scouts – Tzofim: “Shevet Keshet Inclusion Initiative” — to include kids with special needs in all of the troops activities by hiring Hebrew speaking students to accompany those kids and allowing them to fully participate in all activities.

Holocaust Museum & Learning Center: “Wheelchair Project for Kopolow Building” — to accommodate Museum visitors who cannot stand or walk for a long period of time by purchasing two wheelchairs that would provide those visitors better access to all amenities and programs at the Museum.

Jewish Community Center: “Buddies@Work Supported Employment Project Expansion” — to expand the Buddies@Work pre-vocational training program for young individuals with disabilities by providing work opportunities by opening a café at the J’s Marilyn Fox building that will be managed by the program’s participants.

• Neve Shalom Congregation: “Big Tent Podcast” — to help diminish the shame and stigma associated with mental illness by creating a startup podcast telling personal stories of mental illness.

Saul Mirowitz Jewish Community School: “Occupational Therapy Expansion” — to support students with motor and sensory challenges by expanding the work of the school’s occupational therapist and adding additional hours of OT services.

St. Louis Rabbinical Association: “Mental Health Awareness Shabbat” — to encourage all Jewish congregations to participate in a stigma breaking Shabbat experience dedicated to teaching and inspiring communities to understand and embrace individuals with mental illness.

Taharath Israel of St. Louis: “Mikvah Access Lift for People with Disabilities” — to provide access to the Millstone Campus Mikvah to individuals with physical disabilities by installing a pool lift.

United Hebrew Congregation: “Saul Spielberg Early Childhood Center Sensory Disorder Training and Supplies” — to support students at their early childhood center who have sensory disorders by purchasing sensory supplies to assist in learning in the classroom, and train all teachers on how to best accommodate these students.

Yeshivat Kadimah High School: “Yeshivat Kadimah’s Learning Differences Inclusion Project” — to support the school’s students with learning disabilities by hiring a part time consultant to work with students and staff.