Jewish Disability Awareness, Acceptance and Inclusion Month (JDAIM) is a unified effort among Jewish organizations worldwide to raise awareness and foster acceptance and inclusion of people with disabilities and mental health conditions and those who love them. JDAIM is a call to action for all of us as we act in accordance with our Jewish values, honoring the gifts and strengths that we each possess.
Established at JFCS in 2009, JDAIM is observed during the month of February. The mission of Jewish Disability Awareness, Acceptance and Inclusion Month 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 like anyone else.
People with disabilities make up the world’s largest minority group. Globally, around 10% of the world’s population lives with a disability of some kind. Twenty percent of people in the U.S. have some disability and 1 in 10 suffer from a severe disability. Over 10% of people in Israel have some form of disability that can make life’s daily activities a struggle. These statistics are just the beginning. Take into account the family, friends, and loved ones of those with disabilities who are also affected and these numbers skyrocket.
Why Participate in JDAIM?
By participating in Jewish Disability Awareness, Acceptance, and Inclusion Month, we (and you!) do the following:
- Raise awareness of how people with disabilities and mental health conditions have been regarded by Jewish and secular society and how that impacts our own actions.
- Underscore the importance of choosing one’s own Jewish journey.
- Encourage Jews around the world to become genuinely empathetic and welcoming toward people with disabilities and mental health conditions.
- Urge Jews to welcome people with disabilities and mental health conditions into their communities and personal lives.
- Include people with disabilities and mental health conditions in all aspects of communal life.
- Advocate for the rights of people with disabilities and mental health conditions.
- Support people with disabilities and mental health conditions to make their own decisions about how they want to belong to their Jewish community.
Jewish Values-Based Disability Awareness Lesson Plans
Use these free downloadable lessons during JDAIM or any time of the year! Created collaboratively by the Jewish Special Needs/Disability Inclusion Consortium, these sets of lesson plans include age-appropriate lessons from kindergarten through high school that use Jewish values to help students learn about the importance of disability inclusion.
- PreK-Grade 3
- Grades 4-7+
- All Grades
The Ruderman Chabad Inclusion Initiative is celebrating the 3rd Annual ShabbaTTogether, a Global Shabbat of Disability Inclusion and Mental Wellness on February 12, 2021. Jewish communities around the world on six continents are planning events and programs for a global Shabbat of unity focusing on disability inclusion and mental wellness. This year, mental health has become an even more important focus as the whole world is currently struggling to find a balance and maintain our own mental wellness in these challenging and uncertain times. COVID-19 has hit every community hard and for those who have a disability or history of mental health conditions, the struggle can be even more difficult. The ShabbaTTogether resources this year are created with virtual programming in mind.
A sample of our programs this year include:
- Five mental health activity games for children, teens and young adults at home or via Zoom
- Mental health program for teens and young adults (includes an interactive activity, printable materials and discussion prompts)
- We Can Find a Way, a children’s picture book sponsored by RCII showing ways to be inclusive of everyone. (Includes activity guide and nook reading and guide for Zoom)
- Collaborative program with PJ Library’s The Mitten String
To learn more, visit shabbattogether.com.
For more information on Jewish Disability Awareness, Acceptance & Inclusion Month, visit inclusioninnovations.com/jdaim.