We would like to thank Jonathan Mark for his article, “More Needed For Special Jews” (Dec. 16), which described the Ruderman Conference and some of the wonderful work being done in the Jewish community in relation to individuals with disabilities. It is inspiring to learn that so many communities are interested in creating more fully inclusive environments for all of their members. We also cannot agree more with Felicia Herman about the importance of including a conversation about disabilities in every Jewish communal conversation.
Here in the MetroWest New Jersey Jewish community, which encompasses Essex, Morris, Sussex and northern Union counties, we are in the fourth year of the MetroWest ABLE program. ABLE is a network of community professionals and lay leaders that serve and advocate for individuals with special needs and their families, with the vision of a community that is made whole through the active and meaningful participation of all of its members.
With Jewish Disability Awareness Month approaching in February, MetroWest ABLE will again spearhead efforts to raise awareness of the importance of creating an inclusive community through Shabbat Shalem, a Shabbat of Inclusion, featuring a number of community-wide events.
MetroWest ABLE Community Coordinator Morton Bunis and Caren Ford, MetroWest ABLE Chairpersons