During Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month in February, PAS will turn attention to the sometimes hidden disabilities of mental illness and addiction.
Park Avenue Synagogue is deeply committed to creating a spiritual home for our community 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 has the opportunity to participate fully in the breadth of synagogue life.
From usher and greeter training to Food Pantry PALs to ensuring that the PAS campus is accessible to all, PAS practices a culture of welcoming. While the Inclusion Committee works all year long to promote expression of the values that make us a welcoming community, the annual JDAIM events enable us to highlight our efforts. During the month of February, members with personal experience of inclusion issues will speak from the bimah during Kabbalat Shabbat. Their topics will include raising a Jewish child with autism; recognizing and accommodating learning disabilities within our community; and personal faith when a child has mental illness. We hope these personal reflections will inspire the congregation to reflect on the diversity within our community.
On Sunday afternoon, February 10 at 3:00 pm we invite the entire community to a screening of the award-winning documentary Swim Team. The film chronicles the formation and rise of a competitive swim team made up of teens on the autism spectrum. The film follows three of the team’s star athletes on the cusp of adulthood as they train “with high expectations and zero pity,” capturing a moving quest for inclusion, independence, sense of community, and a life that feels winning. Following the film, Rabbi Zuckerman will moderate a talkback and discussion with producer/director/creator Lara Stolman and swim coach/team parent Mike McQuay. Due to mature language, the film is appropriate for ages 12 and up.
There is no fee for the event, but RSVPs are required.
We look forward to seeing the PAS community at our February 2019 JDAIM events and we appreciate your support of inclusion at PAS throughout the year.