A Roundtable of Inclusion: Israel Unites on Behalf of People with Disabilities

Ensuring that everyone, regardless of their abilities, feels welcome and included in our Jewish community has long been a focus of the Federation’s work. That’s why we’re happy to share that Keren Hendel, Director of Missions and Programs in Federation’s Israel Office, recently participated in a special event on inclusion and self-advocacy.

On May 4th, a roundtable discussion hosted by the U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro honored the work of Professor Michael Stein, Executive Director of the Harvard Law School Project on Disability programs. Professor Stein has consulted with Beit Issie Shapiro (BIS) and Israel Elwyn (IE), two Israel organizations that serve people with disabilities. In 2011, they together created The National Self-Advocacy Project for People with Intellectual Disabilities in Israel, which directly addresses the concept of “nothing about us without us,” teaching people with intellectual disabilities the skills necessary to have their voices heard and access their rights. Our Federation has been a proud partner of this program since its inception, which provides participants with groundbreaking opportunities for leadership within their own community and beyond. More recently, The National Self-Advocacy Project for People with Intellectual Disabilities created a national network to advocate for policy change.

Keren Hendel was among 25 roundtable participants who represented a variety of sectors (self-advocates, the Israeli government, academia, philanthropy and civil society). This event provided an opportunity for participants to make connections and reinforced that citizens with disabilities have the right to full inclusion in society.

We are proud to share this news on behalf of our Israeli family and to know that our partners are continuing to expand and grow their programs and services to make sure people of all abilities can participate as equals, not only in our Jewish community, but in the greater community and beyond.

Photo credit: Matty Stern/U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv

Tags: Event Recap

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