Federation CJA is proud to support children and adults living with disabilities and their families in meeting their unique challenges and ensuring their participation in Montreal Jewish communal life. Inclusion programs include school-based academic intervention, therapy, camp experiences, supported employment and recreation.
As a community convener, Federation CJA uses expert research and resources to build a culture of inclusivity for the Montreal Jewish community, while assuring that Jewish engagement and learning opportunities are accessible to everyone.
A recent review of the community landscape indicates that there are fewer programmatic options available for those ageing out of youth programs and transitioning into adulthood. This review also supported the need for more social, recreational, supported employment, and housing options.
There are approximately 16,000 people aged 15 and over living with disabilities in the Montreal Jewish community. For many of these people, challenges related to their disabilities limit their full participation in society. Federation CJA is committed to working with a vast network of service delivery agencies to further address identified needs.
Strategies and Responses
Three years ago, Federation CJA increased its investment in communal organizations working with individuals and families who are living with disabilities by more than 40%. In 2014, the Special Needs Granting Envelope evolved into the Inclusion Granting Envelope, which, in the 2018/2019 funding year, saw $273,000 distributed across nine support services. The collective effort across these services resulted in 29 programs supporting more than 1,000 individuals with disabilities and their families.
Federation CJA is also the first Federation in Canada to bring in a dedicated, full-time Community Inclusion Coordinator. The Coordinator serves as a key connector for our stakeholders supporting the web of affiliated agencies and community organizations. The coordinator also enables our vast network of supporters to work together towards innovative partnerships that meet the needs of members of the Montreal Jewish community living with disabilities.
“Be the change you wish to see in the world” – Mahatma Ghandi
Federation CJA is committed to acting as a lead organization in opening up dialogues and creating awareness about inclusivity and accessibility. We aim to be more intentionally inclusive in our approach and practices as an organization and to encourage our community partners to do the same. We strive to lead, connect, explore, empower and actively embrace persons of all abilities. Our overarching goal is to engage the broader community in working towards improving access to Jewish life by removing barriers, appreciating the diversity of our community and connecting to our Jewish values.
For the second year in a row, Federation CJA has taken the lead as a key convener to unite the Montreal Jewish community under the umbrella of JDAIM (Jewish Disability Awareness, Acceptance and Inclusion Month). JDAIM started 10 years ago in the United States to raise awareness around disability issues, and is now celebrated throughout North American Jewish communities. For JDAIM 2020, around 30 local organizations participated, up from 26 in 2019. Federation CJA-led initiatives included a professional workshop, various speaker events, and a special movie night. Click here to consult the full 2020 Montreal Community JDAIM Calendar of activities.