Seeing Abilities in Those with Disabilities

Deb Weiner

How does the Jewish community include individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities? In all walks of life, spiritual, educational, recreational and social, how do we help create a warm and safe space for this underserved population? Keshet is an organization that provides answers to these questions for the Jewish community and beyond.

Seeing Abilities in Those with Disabilities

Brotherhood and friendship

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As I write this month's blog entry, I'm literally on a plane headed to Toronto for the National AEPi Convention. It has been four years since we were first selected as one of seven official philanthropy partners, and we greatly appreciate the commitment and dedication of the AEPi brotherhood in helping individuals with special needs.

Together with Keshet, the AEPi brothers have worked to increase community awareness about the special needs of individuals with disabilities in hopes of overcoming barriers to integration and community participation.

As many of Keshet's programs are volunteer driven, AEPi brothers have served as ambassadors and as incredible role models and friends to our program participants. They also serve well as a resource for volunteer support to various Keshet events and programs, which include; Keshet's Jerome and Freda Joseph Buddy Baseball program, the Keshet Sunday School, Canning Day, as well as involving Keshet in local events such as AEPoker, hosted at Northwestern University.

The costs associated with having a child with extraordinary medical and therapeutic needs can be overwhelming and Keshet sees it as our primary responsibility to continue providing scholarship funding for all of our program participants. This can only be accomplished by ongoing donations from a wide variety of sources and becoming an AEPI official philanthropy partner has made a significant and far-reaching impact, for which Keshet is extremely grateful.

Through AEPi's generosity, Keshet can continue fulfilling the dreams of kids with special needs, allowing them to reach their full potential as active participants in the community.

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