February is Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month (JDAIM) when Jewish communities raise awareness and encourage the participation of people with disabilities and their families in Jewish communal life. In celebration of JDAIM, Agudath Israel Congregation, Congregation Beth Shalom and Congregation Machzikei Hadas will welcome Yishai Barth and his father, Rabbi Samuel Barth, during Shabbat Tetsavveh – February 19-20, as well on Sunday, February 21.
Yishai is a 20-year-old honours student at the University of Massachusetts. He has cerebral palsy, is legally blind, uses a wheelchair and requires assistive technology for reading and writing.
“We are all superheroes with individual strengths and weaknesses,” Yishai said.
Yishai asserts that we can all achieve great results if we work together and that fully vibrant and inclusive communities can be achieved when we recognize the power of language, the benefits of a culture of interdependence, and the importance of making our environment accessible for all.
Yishai will speak on “Disability and Moral Obligation” during dinner on Friday evening at Agudath Israel. At Shacharit on Shabbat morning, he will talk about “Disability and the Power of Language.”
Shabbat morning services will be enhanced by the Tamir Neshama choir under the direction of Cantor Daniel Benlolo. Also, Rabbi Barth will deliver a D’var Torah on the issue of prayer during Seudah Shlisheet.
Finally, as part of the lecture series on Jewish activism co-sponsored by Agudath Israel Congregation and Congregation Machzikei Hadas, Yishai will speak on “Techniques for Effective Inclusion,” on Sunday, February 21 at Agudath Israel. Shacharit services will be followed by a light breakfast. A $5 cover fee will be charged.
For further information or reservations for the Kabbalat Shabbat dinner, contact Susan Grossner at the Agudath Israel office at 613-728-3501 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Further information about Jewish Disability and Inclusion Month is available at www.JDAIM.org.