- Cummings Centre - Intergenerational Discussion About Inclusion
- Federation CJA - From Longing to Belonging: the Keys to Inclusion in Jewish Community Life
- GenMTL - GenMTL-YA-JDAIM/Jewish Disability Awareness & Inclusion Month
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.
In 2019, Federation CJA played a key leadership role in rallying the community under the Jewish Disability Awareness, Acceptance and Inclusion Month (JDAIM) banner, a month-long initiative designed to create awareness about disabilities, which is celebrated by Jewish communities across North America. As part of our inclusion initiative, we participated in a variety of performing arts programs, including a play rendition, a movie screening and a choir performance. In a ground-breaking communal effort involving 26 organizations, Federation CJA helped put Montreal on the JDAIM Canadian map, with over 2,000 community members participating in 23 local events. Plans for the 2020 edition JDAIM are already under way and will be announced in January 2020.