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January 15, 2015 12:15 pm

Ruderman Family Foundation, Chabad Partner on $1 Million Disability Inclusion Initiative

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RFF President Jay Ruderman, far left, posted this image on Twitter in October after exiting a meeting in which he talked with partners about expanding disability inclusion. Photo: Twitter.

JNS.org – The Ruderman Family Foundation (RFF) will devote $1 million to a new partnership with the Chabad-Lubavitch movement in order to help “create a culture of inclusion” for people with disabilities in about 4,200 communities around the world.

According to a press release, the initiative will work to change attitudes within Jewish communities from “doing for” to “working with” people with disabilities.

“With emissaries in virtually every Jewish community across the globe, Chabad represents one of the most extensive and influential outreach efforts in the Jewish world. … The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson z”l taught that every Jew is equal and every Jew is a valued member of our community regardless of their abilities. Our partnership with Chabad will ensure that his message is embraced by all Jews,” RFF President Jay Ruderman said.

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Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky, chairman of Chabad’s educational and social services divisions, said that “the values of inclusion that the Rebbe pioneered are inherent to Chabad.”

The RFF, which is based in Boston, previously launched partnerships on disability inclusion in synagogues with the Union for Reform Judaism and the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. The new initiative with Orthodox-affiliated Chabad means the foundation now has partnerships in all three major Jewish denominations.

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