Strengthening the Collective Us: Celebrating JDAIM

February 2, 2017

Source: eJewish Philanthropy 


This February marks the 9th annual Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month (JDAIM). This global campaign to advance disability inclusion is, at its core, a movement for cultural change. It is a paradigm shift from a focus on kindness to a demand for justice; from the idea that inclusion is about helping others to the knowledge that it is about strengthening the collective us; from creating particular programs to making all opportunities accessible. Change can be a gradual “two steps forward, one step back” journey. It requires recognizing progress and constant reflection on what still needs to be accomplished.

At The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, we proudly celebrate JDAIM with the knowledge that inclusion is among our main areas of focus year-round. Our policies, practices and programs incorporate The Jewish Federation’s commitment to include individuals with disabilities, setting a standard for the ways in which individuals are invited and encouraged to participate in Jewish life. Recognizing the need for further advancement in the area of inclusion, Federation’s Disability Inclusion Committee works to tackle the ever-evolving question, “How do we inspire the cultural shift we need to advance disability inclusion within our community?” We have come to the conclusion that change will arise, not from a single organization, not a sole community and not a solitary action, but a universal adjustment in attitude through structured, sustained action.

And now, following two years of brainstorming, planning, designing, piloting and revising, Federation is proud to introduce the Inclusion Planning Tool, an online self-assessment system to guide organizations striving to progress their inclusive ideals. Built around 6 areas of focus with a series of questions in each area, the tool provides customized guidelines for all organizations, at every stage of the process. Our mission with this tool is to inspire an ever-changing, collaborative environment around the topic of inclusion. We understand that the journey to full inclusion is not an easy one, but fear should not halt the path to positive change. Through a collective, accessible and steadfast approach, together we can create a substantial societal shift towards full inclusion. In our devoted efforts to build a strong and vibrant Jewish community, it is essential that we continue to question, reflect and strive toward the seemingly elusive goal of full inclusion for all individuals.

If you’re interested in leading your organization towards full inclusion, we encourage you to explore Federation’s Inclusion Planning Tool here. We welcome your thoughts and feedback!

Read the entire post at eJewish Philanthropy.

Updated: Feb. 08, 2017