Jewish Disability Awareness, Acceptance and Inclusion Month

February is Jewish Disability Awareness, Acceptance and Inclusion Month (JDAIM) — a unified initiative to foster inclusion of Jewish communities worldwide. Here at The Associated, we work with our agencies to provide opportunities for people of all abilities to achieve their highest potential and lead independent, fulfilled lives.

It is our goal that in Jewish Baltimore, each person is cared for, welcomed and accepted.

What We Do

Every year, our agencies focus on making sure individuals with disabilities and their families are successful. In the past year, we have continued to make sure that our community has access to valuable services and resources. Here is what we have accomplished:

Attendance at SHEMESH’s support group for parents of children with attention and executive function issues continued to grow. This success has led to the creation of a quarterly support group for parents of children with autism spectrum disorders.


Jewish Community Services’ (JCS) Employment Support Services helped individuals with varying abilities work on employment skills and offered programming that focused on communication skills and socialization. Through cooking classes, a coffee club, arts and crafts and so much more, JCS married the desire for socialization with goal setting, mock interviews and skills training, just to name a few. 

The Baltimore Jewish Abilities Alliance continued to promote inclusive, spirited programming. The BJAA provides vital access to services, support groups, workshops and clinics, connecting individuals with disabilities and their families to the resources they need.

MDSNAP, Maryland Special Needs Advocacy Project, a program under The Macks Center for Jewish Connections, advocated for the best educational resources at public and private schools for children with disabilities.

The Macks Center for Jewish Connections added a brand-new connector to engage young families with neurodiverse children in Jewish life. 

The J Camps Inclusion Program bunked campers with their typical peers where they had the chance to participate in all camp activities with their peers. Campers were paired on a 1:1 or 2:1 basis with specially trained staff.

Who We’ve Helped

Below is just one of the many success stories we have seen throughout our community. Batsheva, who today teaches kindergarteners Hebrew and English at a Jewish day school, grew up with a learning disability. But thanks to SHEMESH, she was set on a path for success and ultimately earned a graduate degree in teaching. Listen to her story from our Pull Up A Chair Podcast.

What’s Happening Now

Each year, we celebrate JDAIM (Jewish Disabilities Awareness and Inclusion Month) in February with events and activities in our community. Bookmark this page and we’ll keep you up to date on what’s happening!

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