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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.

Panelists Include

  • 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.

Speaker Bios

Meredith Polsky smiling headshotMeredith 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 headshot smilingLianne 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.


AvodahB’nai David-Judea CongregationBuilders of Jewish Education: JKidLACongregation B’nai AmoonaCongregation B’nai EmetCongregation Kol AmiCongregation Or AmiEdlavitch DCJCCFoundation for Jewish CampGateways: Access to Jewish EducationHebrew Union CollegeIKARInstitute on Theology and DisabilityJewish Federations of North AmericaJewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ – Greater MetroWest ABLEJewish Los Angeles Special Needs Trust and ServicesJewish Residential ServicesJQ InternationalJVS SoCalJewish Women International (JWI)KeshetLippman Kanfer Foundation for Living TorahMarlene Meyerson JCC ManhattanMatanMoment MagazineNational Ramah Tikvah NetworkOhr HaTorah SynagogueReconstructing JudaismReligious Action Center of Reform JudaismROSIES FoundationShalhevetShalom InstituteStephen Wise TempleTemple Adat ElohimT’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human RightsThe Jewish JournalThe Miracle ProjectThe New NormalThe Women’s Rabbinic NetworkUnion for Reform JudaismUSCJWhole Community Inclusion at Jewish Learning VentureYachad Los AngelesYeshivat 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 PhilanthropiesThe 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

accessibility friendlyhearing impaired accessibleThe 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.


Zoom Teleconference
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