HEADING INTO its sixth year is Jewish Disability Awareness Month (JDAM), an initiative that is supported by Jewish special educators and others across the Jewish community, including the Jewish Federations of North America.
A major champion for Jewish Disability Awareness Month has been Shelly Christensen, author the Jewish Community Guide to Inclusion of People with Disabilities, founder of disability awareness advocacy Inclusion Innovations, and program manager for the Minneapolis Jewish Inclusion Program for People with Disabilities.
“The goal of Jewish Disability Awareness Month is to shift our attitudes to see that having a disability is part of the human condition,” says Christensen, “and to see that humanity in each person we meet.”
JDAM READS 2014
This year, PJ Library joins Shelly Christensen in actively supporting JDAM by participating in the JDAM Reads program. We have partnered with the Jewish Special Education International Consortium to develop and promote disability awareness programming for families, developed around the PJ Library selection Cakes and Miracles.
JDAM Reads 2014 book selections include an adult book and a children’s book:
|Hope Will Find You
Author: Rabbi Naomi Levy
We all ask ourselves the same questions when we are struggling to move forward. As a rabbi, Naomi Levy frequently offered spiritual guidance to people seeking the answers. But when a doctor told her that her young daughter, Noa, had a fatal degenerative disease, Rabbi Levy’s own insights could not prevent her whole life from unraveling.
In Hope Will Find You, Naomi Levy shares her journey and the wisdom she gained. She describes with humor and honesty how she came through a time of uncertainty and fear and learned how to stop waiting for life to begin. A natural and engaging storyteller, Levy has written a book filled with invaluable lessons for living in the present and for opening the door to an extraordinary future.
|Cakes and Miracles: A Purim Tale
Author: Barbara Diamond Goldin
Illustrator: Jaime Zollars
Hershel’s blindness doesn’t keep him from living life. He helps his mother by doing chores, but wishes he could do even more for her. When an angel appears in Hershel’s dream and encourages him to make what he sees when he closes his eyes, the boy sneaks into the kitchen, transforming his mother’s cookie dough into beautiful hamantaschen (three-cornered fruit-filled cookies) that can be sold to raise money for the family at Purim.
Past years’ book selections include:
- The Story of Beautiful Girl by Rachel Simon
- Now I See the Moon: A Mother, A Son, A Miracle by Elaine Hall
- Front of the Class: How Tourette Syndrome Made Me the Teacher I Never Had by Brad Cohen
OPPORTUNITIES & EVENTS
On Thursday, Feb. 6, the Jewish Disability Network is hosting a Jewish Disability Advocacy Day event on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
Check with your local Jewish community or PJ Library program to learn about any related programs or events in your area.