From Jewish day school to Sunday school to beyond, Jewish education is a hallmark of Jewish identity. Come learn from a group of amazing panelists who will share great work that the Jewish world is doing and ideas that you can replicate in order to ensure that Jews with disabilities have access to this treasured legacy, online and off.
- Meredith Polsky – Matan
- Lianne Heller – Sulam
- Debbie Niderberg – Hidden Sparks
Jewish organizations, leaders and activists are invited to a free online training series so they can learn how to welcome, respect and include people with disabilities from all backgrounds in the important work that they do.
The entire series is offered online and for free. All sessions include American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters and captions, and will be screen reader accessible. To request a copy of the accessible PowerPoint prior to the session or any additional accommodations required to participate, please email JoshuaS@RespectAbility.org.
Meredith Polsky founded Matan in 2000 and serves as Matan’s National Director of Institutes and Training, as well as the part-time Developmental Support Coordinator at Temple Beth Ami Nursery School in Rockville, MD. Meredith is a nationally sought-after speaker on Jewish Special Education. She holds a Master’s degree in Special Education from Bank Street College, a Master’s degree in Clinical Social Work from Columbia University and a graduate certificate in Early Intervention from Georgetown University. Meredith is a 2017 Covenant Award recipient, and co-author of the award-winning children’s books I Have a Question about Death, I Have a Question about Divorce, and I Have a Question about Cancer (Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2017, 2018 and 2019, respectively).
Lianne Heller is the Executive Director of Sulam, a special education inclusion program serving students with disabilities in K-12 in the Greater Washington area. She has worked in the field of Jewish education and special education for the past twenty-five years. After studying journalism in South Africa, where she established a publishing company and television production company, she immigrated to the US. Her focus shifted to Jewish education when she became a mother of four sons. Lianne’s work at the Montgomery County Public School Learning and Disabilities (LAD) program, as well as in the Center Programs for the Highly Gifted, inspired her to continue her studies in the field of Jewish education and leadership. She completed a work study tour of the Reggio Emilia school system in Italy and went on to complete the Jewish Early Childhood Leadership Institute program through the Jewish Theological Seminary and Bank Street College of Education. She is also a graduate of the Day School Leadership Training Institute at the William Davidson School of Jewish Education at the Jewish Theological Seminary. Lianne believes that all educators have an extra obligation to continue the active pursuit of learning in order to model to their students a life-long commitment to growth and discovery. She continues to take multiple courses in special education, Jewish thought, and leadership. In addition, Heller gives talks and workshops on leadership, and a Jewish perspective in education.
Avodah, B’nai David-Judea Congregation, Builders of Jewish Education: JKidLA, Congregation B’nai Amoona, Congregation B’nai Emet, Congregation Kol Ami, Congregation Or Ami, Edlavitch DCJCC, Foundation for Jewish Camp, Gateways: Access to Jewish Education, Hebrew Union College, IKAR, Institute on Theology and Disability, Jewish Federations of North America, Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ – Greater MetroWest ABLE, Jewish Los Angeles Special Needs Trust and Services, Jewish Residential Services, JQ International, JVS SoCal, Jewish Women International (JWI), Keshet, Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah, Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan, Matan, Moment Magazine, National Ramah Tikvah Network, Ohr HaTorah Synagogue, Reconstructing Judaism, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, ROSIES Foundation, Shalhevet, Shalom Institute, Stephen Wise Temple, Temple Adat Elohim, T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, The Jewish Journal, The Miracle Project, The New Normal, The Women’s Rabbinic Network, Union for Reform Judaism, USCJ, Whole Community Inclusion at Jewish Learning Venture, Yachad Los Angeles, Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School
This series is made possible by support from the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles through a Cutting Edge Grant, The Diane & Guilford Glazer Philanthropies, The Charles & Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, The David Berg Foundation, the Stanford and Joan Alexander Foundation, Stanley & Joyce Black Family Foundation, and The Beverly Foundation.
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How to Advance Disability Inclusion in Jewish Education
Tuesday, Jun. 30 @ 1:30 PM - 2:30 PM
The full inclusion of people of all abilities is a core value of the Pittsburgh Jewish Community. Please discuss accessibility accommodations with the contact person for this event.