February 3, 2022
In recognition of Jewish Disability Awareness, Acceptance and Inclusion Month (JDAIM), we are honored to hear the voices of individuals who have a disability or have a connection to this community.
A Note From Emily:
Shelly Christensen, one of the creators of JDAIM writes about the difference between inclusion and belonging. As a community, both here and in the broader world, we must not just say that we aim to be inclusive. As a disabled person, I see that as the bare minimum. And as a Reform Jew, I argue that our “big tent” needs to include every person who enters our doors.
We were all at Sinai, so we all belong here. Last month, we read about the giving of the Ten Commandments. Tradition teaches that all Jews, of all generations, stood at Sinai together. God could have chosen to give the commandments to only a specific group of people, but instead, the revelation was public. The Torah was given to all of us, even those who may have not been able to hear it. We all belong in the Jewish community.
Emily Dana is a third-year Rabbinical Student at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, Ohio. She grew up in Wilmette and essentially lived at Beth Emet for much of her middle and high school years as a leader in youth group and NFTY-CAR. From college until today, she has worked with Jewish and secular disability advocacy organizations to push for more accessibility in the Jewish community and a general increased awareness of disability in all of the spaces that she operates within. Her aim is to become a hospital chaplain after rabbinical school.
Beth Emet has so many amazing members, each offering unique talents to the greater community. Share your news with all of us so we can both celebrate and get to know one another a bit better…. Especially during these (mostly) virtual times. Send your news to Bekki Kaplan, and if possible, please include a photo!