JDAIM: Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month
We are deeply committed to creating a spiritual home for our community where everyone is viewed as being created in the image of God.
JDAIM 2020 at PAS Focuses on Mental Illness, Addiction, and Suicide
During Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month in February, PAS will turn attention to the sometimes hidden disabilities of mental illness and addiction. These often invisible difficulties affect nearly 25 percent of Americans. In 2017, an estimated 46.6 million adults aged 18 or older had some form of mental illness. Of these, young adults aged 18 to 25 had the highest prevalence of mental health illness – 25.8 percent. One in six youths aged 6 to17 experience a mental health disorder each year, and suicide is the second leading cause of death among people aged 10 to 34.
The PAS community is not excluded from these statistics, yet we rarely acknowledge the impact that these illnesses have on our families. By shining a light on this topic and opening up the conversation, we hope to replace stigma and discrimination with acceptance and advocacy. By talking about mental illness and educating ourselves, we can ultimately create a network of spiritual, social, and emotional support.
To begin JDAIM, we are honored to welcome award-winning journalist and New York Times best selling author Stephen Fried as our Shabbat Scholar in Residence on February 7 and 8. February 7 and 8. Stephen is a popular lecturer and consultant to faith communities on understanding, including, and supporting individuals with mental illness and addiction and their families. He will speak at Shabbat dinner on Friday evening in conversation with Rabbi Zuckerman. They will be joined by Elliot Miller, whose family has experienced mental illness and suicide. Not only do the three speakers share an interest in the topic, but they are old friends who all grew up in the same congregation in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
During the rest of February and into March, in recognition of JDAIM, members of our community will speak from the bimah on Friday evenings during Kabbalat Shabbat, sharing their stories of how mental illness, addiction, and suicide have affected them personally. Throughout the month, there will be other programming on Inclusion and mental health targeted to different age groups.
JDAIM KABBALAT SHABBAT SPEAKERS
Fri / 6:15 pm / Kabbalat Shabbat / PAS@87th Street
Feb 14 / Carly Lehrman
Feb 28 / Elissa Drassinower
Mar 6 / Rebecca Schonfeld
Park Avenue Synagogue is deeply committed to creating a spiritual home where everyone is viewed as being created in the image of God. Our Inclusion Committee’s mission is to ensure that every individual and family in the PAS community is able to fully participate in the breadth of synagogue life.