Learners with Disabilities in Jewish Education: Addressing an Important Need at JTS


Source: eJewish Philanthropy


To help meet the demand for more qualified staff, the Davidson School is launching a concentration in Disabilities Inclusion and Advocacy beginning in Fall 2018. In addition to the standard requirements for our MA in Jewish Education, students in the Disabilities Inclusion and Advocacy concentration will complete coursework in special education at JTS and Columbia’s Teacher College, engage in a year-long practicum in the field (with the option of working at a Jewish summer camp in a disabilities/inclusion program), participate in a number of co-curricular programs and learning opportunities, and enjoy cohort-based meetings and opportunities for reflection. We are currently receiving applications for our inaugural year; we are excited to begin this journey and do this meaningful work.

In the coming years, we plan to widen our reach. We will continue to examine issues of inclusion vis-à-vis disabilities, but we will also address additional dimensions of diversity in Jewish educational settings, offering some promising examples of inclusive institutions and powerful cases of challenges and questions that beg further investigation.

“Lo alecha hamlacha ligmor, v’loata ben chorim l’hibatel mimena.” “You are not expected to complete the task, but neither are you free to avoid it” (Pirkei Avot 2:21). There is certainly more that can and needs to be done in the area of disabilities and Jewish education, but we understand this is a critical and promising step in making meaningful change. Our goals are ambitious, but the possibilities and possible outcomes are sustaining and inspiring.

Click here for more information and registration.

Updated: Feb. 07, 2018