My House shall be called a House of Prayer for all people
(Isaiah 56:7)

Widening Our Gates
Chevre Friends

In the current arc of weekly Torah portions, Moses and Aaron are pressing Pharaoh to break the bonds of slavery and "let my people go." At one point, the Egyptian monarch asks, " Mi vami haholchim -- who is going?"  Moses responds, " binareinu uvizquneinu neleich, bevaneinu uvivnoteinu... 
our young and our old will go, our sons and our daughters..." (Exodus 10:8-9) His statement underscores the notion that when our nation was built, it was meant to include all its members.  Synagogue Council remains committed to the self-same principle. We encourage our kehillot to widen their gates, based on the principle that congregations thrive when they are fully welcoming and inclusive.  Toward that end, we are proud to work with institutional partners such as CJP, The Ruderman Foundation, and Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters in support of two important programs focused on inclusion, JDAIM and the JBBBS LGBTQ+ Initiative, highlighted below. 

We appreciate your engagement.

David Bernat PhD, Executive Director, SCM

JDAIM
On behalf of the Ruderman Synagogue Inclusion Project (RSIP), Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP), and the Synagogue Council of Massachusetts, we invite your congregation to participate in Jewish Disability Awareness, Acceptance, and Inclusion Month (JDAIM).

Established in 2009 by Shelly Christensen and the Jewish Special Education International Consortium, JDAIM is a global effort observed every February. The mission of JDAIM is to unite Jewish communities worldwide to raise awareness and champion the rights of all Jews to be accepted and included in all aspects of Jewish life.

JDAIM is a call for all of us to act in accordance with our Jewish values, honoring the gifts and strengths that we each possess.

To support your organization's inclusion efforts this year, we are pleased to present the  2020 JDAIM Program Guide
.  You'll find ideas for activities and events to incorporate into your programs, as well as access to the branding style guide.


In honor of JDAIM, RSIP is pleased to  present seven workshops  in collaboration with our colleagues at Gateways to help move your synagogue's inclusion agenda forward.

Looking for more ways to get involved?
  • We encourage you to list your synagogue's public JDAIM activities onJewishBoston.com's dedicated page. RSIP and CJP are pleased to host this page as a resource for the Greater Boston community. If you have additional questions, please email the site editors.
  • Visit our RSIP webpages where we add new and informative content on a regular basis.
  • Is your synagogue featuring a program for JDAIM that you would like us to promote to our RSIP cohort? Please email your flyer to Carissa and we will share your event with the RSIP network.
  • Check out Dr. Daniel Jackson's Portraits of Resilience in the Jewish Community, a new RSIP initiative to help destigmatize mental illness in our community. If you are interested in being photographed by Dr. Jackson, please email Carissa.
  • Save the date for our annual RSIP spring event on Wednesday, May 27.
Thanks for everything you do to support the active participation of people of all abilities in Jewish life. We look forward to this month of learning, reflection, and self-discovery.

Best regards,

Molly Silver
Manager, Ruderman Synagogue Inclusion Project, CJP

David Bernat
Executive Director, Synagogue Council of Massachusetts

Shelly Christensen, MA, FAAIDD
Executive Director, Inclusion Innovations
Co-founder, Jewish Disability Awareness, Acceptance, and Inclusion Month



RSIP
Synagogue Council                                                   of MA  
JDAIM
JBBBS
Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Boston recently launched an exciting new initiative for  LGBTQ and questioning children (ages 6-18) to be matched 1:1 with a  LGBTQ adult mentor (21+). We are actively recruiting "Littles" and "Bigs" who live in the Greater Boston area (including Boston, Newton, Needham, Brookline, Cambridge and Somerville).  Matches make a twice a month commitment for at least one year! Our community includes people of all sexual orientations, gender identities, races, religions, and backgrounds.  Parents enroll their child at   www.jbbbs.org .  For child recruitment information, contact  Lorraine@jbbbs.org . For volunteer recruitment information, contact  Tania@jbbbs.org . Ready to volunteer? Click  here ! It only takes 5 minutes to begin the process of changing a life!

Keynote Lecture

SAVE THE DATE

Professor Jack Wertheimer
"The New American Judaism: Implications for the Future"
Kehillath Israel, Brookline
March 29, 2020 7pm
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