Jewish Federation launches ‘Disability Initiative’

In an effort to promote a culture of inclusion for individuals with disabilities in the St. Louis Jewish community, Jewish Federation here is launching an initiative that will assess how well the community as a whole welcomes and serves individuals with disabilities. The process will include meeting with professionals, lay leaders, people with disabilities and parents of children with disabilities; developing a survey to send out community-wide; and developing a strategic plan to address areas that need improvement.

 “We want to make sure people with disabilities and their families are fully able to enjoy the life of our Jewish community,” says Andrew Rehfeld, Federation President and CEO. “We will look at accessibility, acceptance, accommodation and welcoming in our community, with the goal of honoring the strengths and gifts all people have, regardless of their abilities.”

To start the process, Federation will bring Becca Hornstein, co-founder and executive director of the Council for Jews with Special Needs in Scottsdale, Ariz. to St. Louis the week of April 22. The Council provides assistance to children and adults who have developmental, intellectual and physical disabilities, attention and learning disabilities, sensory and mobility impairments, and emotional and behavioral disorders. It provides resources to enable participation in religious services, schools, camps and recreational programs in the Jewish community and offers unique programs to individuals with disabilities and their families.

For more information about the Disability Initiative, contact Susan Scribner at 314-442-3846 or email [email protected].

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