February is Jewish Disabilities Awareness Month (JDAM). Shutaf Inclusion Programs in Jerusalem is looking to connect with you in order to implement collaborative activities at your school during JDAM and beyond. We've run a variety of programs with educational partners in the US and Israel, for children as well as teens, and have found that talking disability and inclusion is also a great way to create real connections between participants of all ages, from Israel to the US.
Here are some conversation ideas and role-play scenarios that you can use in your classroom this February.
Founded in 2007, Shutaf serves more than 120 children and teens, ages 6-21, year-round, with and without special needs, in the Jerusalem area. Shutaf is committed to inclusion-based programming and quality services for all, regardless of disability, financial limitations or religious differences.
As a project which began in Jerusalem, Shutaf brings together participants from a variety of backgrounds who would not typically come together in their daily lives. Disability and need often unify diverse populations who then benefit from realizing that their differences aren’t so extreme, that we are all human beings, created in G-d’s image. Shutaf programs offer a place for social engagement and collective identity in a city which is often polarized and separated by religious and cultural differences.
Shutaf programs include: One-week Vacation Camps during Hanukkah and Passover, and a three-week session in August; Weekly after-school youth groups for kids and teens; Young Leadership Program for Teens offering vocational training and ongoing work experience year-round, in a supportive, social environment of self-exploration, identity and self-advocacy; Parent support groups and family gatherings during the year as part of strengthening and educating the Shutaf community.