JDAIM 2018

Posted January 23, 2018  | Written by PJ Our Way Team

PJ Our Way is proud to offer Lucky Broken Girl, the 2017 Finalist for the National Jewish Book Award in Children’s Literature, as our 2018 Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month (JDAIM) selection!

Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month (JDAIM) is a unified effort among Jewish organizations worldwide to raise awareness and foster inclusion of people with disabilities and those who love them. Established in 2009 by the Jewish Special Education International Consortium, JDAIM is observed each February.

A major champion for Jewish Disability Awareness Month, Shelly Christensen, author of the Jewish Community Guide to Inclusion of People with Disabilities, states: “Everyone has gifts to share as well as needs for comfort and community. Inclusion is the opportunity for every person to participate in meaningful ways in the life of the Jewish community. How do we know what is meaningful and important to another person? We open our doors, we ask, listen and we take the journey together.”

Keep reading to find things you can read, talk about, sing, and do to celebrate the important Jewish value of acceptance and inclusion.

READ

Kids, learn more about Lucky Broken Girl and watch a book trailer by Elana, a member of the National Design Team.

Parents, read the Lucky Broken Girl parent guide for more information about the book.

TALK

As you read the book, here are some ideas to talk over together. Please share your answers and ideas in the comments below

  • Ruthie’s experiences help her understand the Jewish value of B’tzelem Elohim, that we all are unique individuals created in the image of God. In what ways is this true for you?
  • Ruthie has friends and neighbors who support her. The Torah tells us not to insult the deaf or put a stumbling block in front of the blind. What changes can we make so that individuals with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of community life?
  • Jews often sing the prayer how pleasant it is when brothers and sisters dwell in unity. JDAIM reminds us that our community is stronger when we welcome individuals with disabilities. What does Ruthie’s story teach us about how we can be more inclusive?

SING

Dan Nichols, a popular Jewish musician at summer camps and communities around the country, has written a beautiful song filled with ruach (spirit) about all of us being created in the image of God and finding connection with each other, B’tzelem Elohim. Listen to Dan’s song, check out more of his music at Dan Nichols Music, and share it with a friend.

ACT

Spread messages of kindness and inclusion with kindness rocks!

Find small rocks outside, clean them, and use paint pens or permanent markers to write positive messages on them. Place the rocks around your school, community center, or neighborhood to spread kindness to those around you.

Comment below to share how you spread kindness and inclusion.

Comments
reader4life
I think that the inside part of people is all that counts. Don't worry about how they look. Find the happiness and kindness in their soul, not their outside. It's about having a wonderful mind and heart :)
2/28/2018 9:33:21 AM
dolphindiamond
In my school we do a big walk a thon with all the classes.
2/9/2018 8:46:31 AM
niceguy
wow just wow
2/2/2018 8:09:57 PM
NationalDT
One of the many possible ways to share kindness and inclusion is to listen to everybody's ideas and respect them. Oh, and one other thing, that kind of reminds me of a Jewish value: "gemilut chasadim" which means "acts of loving kindness." - Jeremy
1/30/2018 4:33:19 AM
rmarc
When I see someone that looks left out and wants to join, I reach out and include them. I pick friends that are nice and that respect people that are different. There are two kids in my class with autism and I try to include them as often as possible.
-Ruben
1/29/2018 12:40:48 AM
Alovesart
Usually when someone looks alone and has nothing to do, my friends and I go up to them and ask them to play. I think it cheers them up and it makes everyone feel good. Alma, age 10
1/25/2018 9:15:44 PM
NationalDT
One way I include people was through my MLC program or Modified Learning Center. Every Thursday or Friday we went the MLC room and played with the kids. We ate lunch with them, had them in our groups for class, and invited them to play on the playground. I had fun and felt proud to be their friend.

Thanks,
Zoe
1/25/2018 12:23:18 AM
NationalDT
“When a kid from my school who has autism joined my afterschool robotics program, some kids were not so nice to him. I was extra nice to him and included him in what we were doing.” Yovel, age 11
1/24/2018 9:41:26 AM
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