Originally published on The Ruderman Family Foundation Blog, Zeh Lezeh (One for Another) by Guest Blogger Jason Lieberman. Jason is a disability advocate and Vice President and Treasurer of Matan: For Every Child. For Every Community. The Gift of Jewish Learning, who was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at 11 months.
While earning a BA in American Studies, I learned the importance of community studies and censuses as indicators of both the relative standing of communal subgroups, and communal needs and priorities. As I studied Nonprofit Management, earning an MPA, I learned their importance, as primary tools for funders, setting allocation priorities, and organizations, setting program and service objectives. Therefore, as a disability advocate, firmly entrenched in the Jewish community, I eagerly anticipated the publication of the 2011 Jewish Community Study of New York.
I was disappointed, not by what it said, but by what it omitted. Rather than showing our engagement, and growing communal impact, through its omissions, the study demonstrates the extent to which communal ignorance persists concerning people with disabilities and their families’ impact on all aspects of Jewish communal life. (Keep reading…)