Jewish Disability Awareness Month (JDAM)

New York Jewish Parenting


Jewish Disability Awareness Month (JDAM) is recognized in February to raise awareness and promote meaningful inclusion of people with disabilities and their families in all aspects of Jewish life. JDAM began in 2009 and includes community programs such as “Our Stories-Our Abilities,” JDAM Reads, as well as individual organizational recognition.#JDAM14

“The goal of Jewish Disability Awareness Month is to shift our attitudes to see that having a disability is part of the human condition—and to see that humanity in each person we meet.”
– Shelly Christensen, Program Manager, Minneapolis Jewish Community Inclusion Program for People with Disabilities


JDAM Reads 2014 Selections

JDAM Reads 2014 introduces two engaging selections by inspiring Jewish authors, Rabbi Naomi Levy and Barbara Diamond Goldin. Both books provide your book club or organization the opportunity to discuss the role of Judaism in living with a disability.


Hope Will Find You: My Search for the Wisdom to Stop Waiting and Start Living
by Rabbi Naomi Levy

Hope Will Find You book discussion
7-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 18
Beth E Synagogue, 5225 Barry St W, St. Louis Park

We all ask ourselves the same questions when we are struggling to move forward. As a rabbi, Naomi Levy frequently offered spiritual guidance to people seeking the answers. But when a doctor told her that her young daughter, Noa, had a fatal degenerative disease, Rabbi Levy’s own insights could not prevent her whole life from unraveling.

In Hope Will Find You, Naomi Levy shares her journey and the wisdom she gained.  She describes with humor and honesty how she came through a time of uncertainty and fear and learned how to stop waiting for life to begin. A natural and engaging storyteller, Levy has written a book filled with invaluable lessons for living in the present and for opening the door to an extraordinary future.

RSVP  for the March 18 book discussion to Shelly Christensen at or 952-542-4838.

Webinar Discussion
Join Rabbi Levy for an intimate, uplifting discussion of her astonishing memoir, “Hope Will Find You,” the official selection of Jewish Disability Awareness Month, at 1 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20. Levy, founder and spiritual leader of Nashuva, will discuss her story and engage you in a discussion about the spiritual and practical struggles of raising a child with special needs. Your questions and input are welcome in this international book event, hosted by
Register now — after registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.



Cakes and Miracles
by Barbara Diamond Goldin
Illustrator: Jaime Zollars
Hershel’s blindness doesn’t keep him from living life. He helps his mother by doing chores, but wishes he could do even more for her. When an angel appears in Hershel’s dream and encourages him to make what he sees when he closes his eyes, the boy sneaks into the kitchen, transforming his mother’s cookie dough into beautiful hamantaschen (three-cornered fruit-filled cookies) that can be sold to raise money for the family at Purim.

A special Jewish Disability Awareness Month curriculum is available, at no charge, through a collaboration with PJ Library and the Jewish Special Education International Consortium by contacting Shelly Christensen at or 952-542-4838. This book is available at as an e-book.

Contact Us

Shelly Christensen, Program Manager, Minneapolis Jewish Community Inclusion Program for People with Disabilities
952-542-4838 |

Inclusion Sponsors

Founding Sponsor | Lynne and Andy Redleaf
Sponsor | The Toodie and Frank Trestman Special Needs and Collaborative Education Endowment Fund