Both as a rabbi and as a parent, it is important to me that Judaism be inclusive of people with special needs. Today, more and more, young people who have Autism, Aspergers, Down’s Syndrome, and other similar challenges are being encouraged to participate to their full potential in Jewish life!
Purely by coincidence, I’ve had the privilege twice in the last 2 months to speak on this topic – first at the annual convention of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, and then as part of a local Toronto panel organized by DANI. Both times, the topic was on the traditional Jewish law surrounding inclusion and on how to build the most inclusive Jewish community possible today.
For those who may be interested, here are the videos from those two events:
- Inclusion of Children with Special Needs in Halachah – March 2014 CCAR Convention
- Toronto Community Panel on Inclusion – May 2014 (This one is long – about 70 minutes. I start talking at 16:50.)
Thanks for watching!