Employment program will place young adults with disabilities at five Jewish federations

The logo of the Ruderman Family Foundation, which is teaming with two other groups to seek entrepreneurial solutions for people with disabilities. Credit: Ruderman Family Foundation.

(JNS.org) The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) and the Ruderman Family Foundation plan to place young adults with disabilities in internships and fellowships at five Jewish federations across the country, and at JFNA’s Washington office, through the new Ruderman Family Foundation Opportunity Initiative. The program’s one-year pilot begins this year.

“This initiative, in collaboration with JFNA, will provide an outstanding opportunity to promote inclusion and diversity in our Jewish institutions,” said Jay Ruderman, president of the Ruderman Family Foundation. “Each of these five federations along with JFNA has a clear vision for how they can best develop a culture of inclusion in their organization through providing this opportunity to people with disabilities, and we look forward to working alongside them to make this program a reality.”

The Jewish Federations of North America logo. Credit: JFNA.

The Jewish Federations of North America logo. Credit: JFNA.

The five federations will seek to fill specially designed positions at each of their offices. The participating federations are The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore, the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ, the Minneapolis Jewish Federation, and the UJA-Federation of New York. The five federations were selected from the 16 federations represented on JFNA’s Human Services & Public Policy Disability Committee.

“The Ruderman Family Foundation Opportunity Initiative offers federations an inspiring and critically important opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives and in the way our federations and their communities view the issue of inclusion. This is a pilot project that we are confident will turn into a culture shift for work and inclusion across the spectrum of Jewish experiences,” said Jerry Silverman, president and CEO of JFNA.

Posted on January 28, 2014 .