January 19, 2022
Jewish Disability Awareness, Acceptance and Inclusion Month (JDAIM) is a unified effort among Jewish organizations and communities worldwide to raise awareness and foster inclusion of people with disabilities and those who love them. JDAIM is a call to action to each one of us in accordance with our Jewish values, honoring the gifts and strengths that we each possess. Established in 2009 by the Jewish Special Education International Consortium, JDAIM is observed each February.
This year is the 14th annual observation of JDAIM.
To mark the beginning of JDAIM, Rabbi Lauren Tuchman will give the Dvar Torah on Friday February 4. Rabbi Tuchman is a colleague of our clergy and a sought after speaker, spiritual leader and educator. Ordained by The Jewish Theological Seminary in 2018, she is, as far as she is aware, the first blind woman in the world to enter the rabbinate. She provides consulting to individuals and organizations across the Jewish community on a variety of matters pertinent to disability access and inclusion. She has taught in numerous synagogues and other organizations across North America. She was named to the Jewish Week’s 36 under 36 for her innovative leadership concerning inclusion of Jews with disabilities in all aspects of Jewish life. In 2017, she delivered an ELI Talk entitled We All Were At Sinai: The Transformative Power of Inclusive Torah. She is a participant in the Institute for Jewish Spirituality’s Clergy Leadership Program. In 2020, she was honored by the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance (JOFA).
To close our month we’ve got a Book Discussion of Golem Girl with author Riva Lehrer. On Sunday, February 27 at 1:00 pm, author Riva Lehrer will lead us in a discussion of her book, Golem Girl, in a society afraid of strange bodies. This program will wrap up our February Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month. Althougolem Girl, a vividly told, gloriously illustrated memoir of an artist born with disabilities who searches for freedom and connection ih prior reading of the book is not required, we encourage you to read it ahead of time if you are able. Following the presentation, there will be an opportunity for Q+A. Several copies of Golem Girl can be borrowed from the office at Beth Emet and it is available for purchase at Bookends and Beginnings in Evanston.
Please Register in Advance Here.
Riva Lehrer is an artist, writer and curator who focuses on the socially challenged body. She is best known for representations of people whose physical embodiment, sexuality, or gender identity have long been stigmatized. Ms. Lehrer’s work has been seen in venues including the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian, Yale University, the United Nations, the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC, the Arnot Museum, the DeCordova Museum, the Frye Museum, the Chicago Cultural Center, and the State of Illinois Museum. Lehrer’s memoir, Golem Girl, was published by the One World imprint of Penguin/Random House in October 2020, won the 2020 Barbellion Prize for Literature; was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; and shortlisted for the Chicago review of Books 2020 CHIRBY Awards. Ms. Lehrer is on faculty at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and instructor in the Medical Humanities Departments of Northwestern University.