Focus On Jewish Disabilities Awareness


In recent years the Ruderman Family Foundation, based in Boston and Israel, has emerged to play a leading role in advocating for greater inclusion of people with disabilities in Jewish life. February is Jewish Disabilities Awareness Month, a time to remind our readers that The Jewish Week’s well-read, innovative blog, “The New Normal: Blogging Disability,” highlights successes and challenges through important voices on inclusion. The writers include people with disabilities, their family members, professionals in the field and others seeking to educate the community about the practical, moral and ethical importance of inclusion.

In keeping with the concept of honoring those who bring equal opportunities to our communities, The Jewish Week Media Group, in partnership with the Ruderman Foundation, is sponsoring a competition to highlight those North American for-profit businesses that excel in hiring, training and supporting people with disabilities. Those selected by a panel of experts in the field will be recognized with a Ruderman “Best In Business Award,” and featured in a June 19 Jewish Week supplement, both printed and online.

“The surest path to full inclusion in our society comes from meaningful employment,” said Jay Ruderman, foundation president. He noted that people with disabilities “are the most excluded members of our society because they are unemployed at the rate of 70 percent.” The idea behind the inclusion award is to “hold up as shining examples those employers who have demonstrated a commitment to hiring people with disabilities.

Nominations will be accepted through March 27.

We are hopeful that describing exemplary policies being carried out with dignity and respect will encourage more companies to do the same, not just motivated by compassion but out of a sense of fairness as well.

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