For professionals

We provide professional training on disability issues to Jewish clergy, Jewish educators, and chaplains. We can also provide interfaith programming, and training for disability professionals looking to improve their cultural competence with Jews.

We are available for both in-person training and webinars. We are also available for consultation, curriculum development, and creation of disability-related resources.

Some sample sessions:

From the depths I cried out to you: Honoring spiritual struggle and hard times for people with disabilities

As human beings created in the image of God, spiritual struggle is a fundamental part of our existence. Faith isn’t always straightforward, and meaning isn’t always easy to come by. Sometimes we have to work through anguish and doubt to find either. In order to have deep faith, we have to find ways to cry out from the depths.

Many of us find ourselves tempted to gloss over the dark places in our work with people with disabilities. People with disabilities are all too often given a way to say amen, but no way to express dissent, doubt, or anguish. This is often particularly intense for people with communication disabilities who are only physically able to use words we make available to them. This workshop will teach practical methods for respecting the full range of spiritual expression and providing appropriate spiritual support to people with disabilities.

Seeing the divine image when parents see ghosts: supporting children and parents through the acceptance process

When a child has a disability, there is often a long and painful process of diagnosis and acceptance. Parents often feel a need to grieve for the child they expected and the life they expected. Children have a parallel difficult experiences. They are being parented by parents who are so disappointed in who they are and how they’re developing that they’re mourning for them. This is painful on both ends, and both parents and children need our help in working through this. Workshop participants will improve their understanding of the spiritual issues involved in the acceptance process, and explore practical strategies for pastoral counseling and community building.

Including children who have learned that school hurts

By the time children with disabilities come to us for Jewish education, they have often learned to expect that school will be a negative experience, and they may be coming to us terrified.

Learning needs created by fear are often overlooked. Fear can be easy to misinterpret as a behavior problem, or as an unmet physical, sensory, or cognitive need related to a child’s disability. This can lead to ineffective or counterproductive interventions. A discussion of fears common among children with disabilities, and practical strategies for meeting fear-related learning needs.

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