The winners were:
JewishCare’s Big Brother Big Sister Mentoring Program (Australia)– JewishCare’s Big Brother Big Sister Program is a mentoring program for Jewish children through to young people who may be facing challenges and adversity in their lives. The program provides them the opportunity to thrive through the ongoing support and friendship of a big brother/sister mentor. JewishCare has developed strong links with local schools, synagogues and community groups to raise awareness about issues facing young people with a disability, and about the importance of their inclusion into mainstream services.
Bar-Ilan University’s Empowerment Program (Israel)– The Empowerment Program provides students with Intellectual Disability the opportunity to participate in college-level academic instruction. The Empowerment Program offers three stages of academic inclusion depending on the students’ level of function, including full integration into standard college courses and the ability to receive college credit for qualified individuals. The Program is the first of its kind in Israel and one of a handful of such programs that exist around the world.
Jewish Family Services Alexander Institute for Inclusion (Houston)– The JFS Alexander Institute for Inclusion is a Houston based initiative dedicated to engaging local communities in vital discussions on how to meaningfully include people with disabilities. The Institute develops the leadership skills of key players whose awareness of inclusion brings the conversation (and ultimately action) to the forefront of their work, academic, or communal environments. In its efforts to increase awareness across the board, the Institute comprehensively trains leaders and committees dedicated to the cause which challenges organizations to embrace inclusion in a proactive way.
The Jewish Community Center of the Greater St. Paul Area (St. Paul)– The goal of the St. Paul JCC’s Inclusion and Accessibility Services Program is to provide children, teens and adults with physical, cognitive and developmental disabilities the opportunity to be welcomed and fully participate in any and all programs offered by the JCC. The staff works with participants who need extra support and accommodations in numerous programs including: theater, swimming lessons, personal training, fitness programs and more. For the last thirty years, the JCC has been fully committed to inclusive programming.
Jewish Vocational Service of Toronto (Toronto)– JVS Toronto helps people succeed by providing outstanding employment, social and educational services which meet the changing needs of the Jewish community. JVS offers specialized programming for populations with Learning Disabilities, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Developmental Disabilities including ASD. Their AbilityWorks program supports individuals with mental health, intellectual and physical disabilities, helping them find and maintain employment.