Kol Ami — The Northern Virginia Reconstructionist Community

Shabbat Morning Inclusion Service

February 24, 2024    
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Inclusion Shabbat Service
Saturday, Feb 24
10:00am -12:00pm
In Person & On Zoom


Including People of All Abilities — Closing the Gap and Doing the Right Thing
In observance of February as Jewish Disability Inclusion, Awareness & Advocacy Month (JDAIM), the Kol Ami Care & Concern/Inclusion Committee will host a special Inclusion Shabbat.
The themes will be “Closing the Gap,” meaning reducing the distance between our moral obligations and the laws we enact to
enforce them, especially when it comes to disabilities, and “doing the right thing,” meaning coming to better terms with the nature of disabilities and the genuine needs of people who have them.
The first speaker will be Kol Ami member Steve Pershing, a civil rights lawyer whose practice includes representing victims of disability discrimination, and who is also one of our volunteer JCEP teachers and tries to include ethics—Jewish and otherwise—in his class discussions. Steve will help us look at Jewish wisdom on treating people with disabilities, and also at the U.S. disability rights movement for self-determination (“Nothing about us without us!”) and our law’s evolution in response to that struggle.
The second speaker will be Mary Kuntz, Steve’s law firm colleague and fellow social justice champion, who is a longtime Kol Amite and a past president. Mary will guide us in understanding the inherently individual nature of disabilities and how providing accommodations can sometimes conflict with the perceived self- interest of others. The question arises whether we as a species are ready to rise above self-interest to achieve a more inclusive whole.
Many more questions are sure to follow during an open discussion, and the conversation will continue over a “Kiddush Plus” luncheon. Please join us!

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