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For the sake of Hanukkah

JassiThat Baldi girl
Wednesday, December 01, 2010

On this very first night of Hanukkah, I'm working on paper after paper. Since I can't really do a leisure blog, so thought I'd post something I wrote for class few years ago.

Jessica Baldi

SELF-AWARENESS

When I was seventeen years old, I wrote in my diary making a self-confirming statement: “I am a Jewish girl. I will always be one.” My mother would roll her eyes at me saying, “Oh my goodness. You’re so Jewish.” One of her favorite stories of my early-Jewhood would be when I was five years old, coming across a humongous Star of David necklace that only big and tall males would use, the one that probably would chain my five-year-old self on the floor if I put it on but I turned to my mother going, “I want it.” That was the beginning of that “Oh my goodness. You’re so Jewish” fixation. My father, on the other hand, would laugh at me and say, “So firm and determined. That is the Italian in you.” I grew up hearing those: being reminded that I am of dual cultures and religious belief, being Jewish and Italian. Since so, I’ve been cultivated with being at ease that my mother is Jewish and my father is Italian, hence my last name, Baldi.

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ASL-Interpreted Shabbat Morning Service

Saturday, December 18, 10:00a to 12:30p
at Town & Village Conservative Synagogue, Manhattan, NY

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Temple Beth Solomon of the Deaf's Annual Donation Request

TBSappeal

Joe Slotnick, president of Temple Beth Solomon of the Deaf (TBS) in Northridge, CA has sent a letter requesting donations in TBS' annual appeal. "For the seventh year, we proudly include The California Home for the Adult Deaf www.CHADhome.org in our Annual Appeal as a recipient for donations".

TBS recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. Donations can be sent to TBS, PO Box 33396, Granada Hils, CA 91394.

Source: Annual Appeal letter from Temple Beth Solomon of the Deaf.

Ready and ABLE

TSTITemple Sharey Tefilo-Israel takes strides to make worship and learning accessible to all comers

By Edie Sachs | November 23, 2010

Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel (TSTI) is among the first group of five synagogues, and the first in South Orange, to be certified as 100 percent accessible to individuals with disabilities by MetroWest ABLE, a committee that focuses on accessibility issues in the local Jewish community.
Photo: TSTI aids access  Credit Marcia Worth

Operating under the auspices of United Jewish Communities of MetroWest NJ, MetroWest ABLE (Access-Belonging-Life Enrichment) is a network of community leaders and professionals that serve and advocate for individuals and families with special needs. Participating agencies include Jewish Family Services, Jewish Vocational Service, Jewish Service for the Developmentally Disabled, and South Orange's own JESPY House.

Rebecca Wanatick, community coordinator for the MetroWest ABLE program, said TSTI was the first synagogue to submit a completed application package for the certification.

At TSTI, accessibility had been a priority for years prior to the completion of the certification requirements. "Making the synagogue fully accessible to the disabled has been important to the congregation for as long as I've been here," said Rabbi Ellie Miller, the temple's associate rabbi.

MetroWest ABLE has a self-assessment checklist to enable synagogues to gauge and enhance their level of accessibility. Checklist items are divided into two main categories. "Architectural Accessibility" includes priorities such as a wheelchair entrance to the building, access to desks or tables for all participants in classes and meetings, and doors that swing open automatically. The "Synagogue Life" category cites, among others, the requirement to include special-needs policies in the membership packet, have a specific designated contact person to handle special-needs questions, and provide training to ushers and other "greeters" on how to handle special-needs requests.

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Issues

This Month's Video

A Purim ABC ASL Story

HDVS_CATEGORY: Holidays
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