Federation program aims for inclusion

Federation program aims for inclusion

Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ has been chosen as one of five federations nationwide for a new program that will place a young adult with disabilities in an internship or fellowship at each of the selected federations, with the aim of providing meaningful employment and career training experience.

The Ruderman Family Foundation Opportunity Initiative is sponsored by the national Jewish Federations of North America and the Ruderman Family Foundation, which provided a significant grant. The Greater MetroWest federation will lead its own search to fill the position.

“As a federation with a longstanding commitment to inclusion in every facet of our community through our MetroWest ABLE program, we are delighted to participate in this initiative” said federation executive director Stanley Stone. “We thank JFNA and the Ruderman Family Foundation for their dedication to disability and inclusion issues and their decision to include us in this groundbreaking program.

“This initiative, in collaboration with JFNA, will provide an outstanding opportunity to promote inclusion and diversity in our Jewish institutions,” said Ruderman foundation president Jay Ruderman. The chosen federations and JFNA have “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 five federations were selected from among the 16 represented on JFNA’s Human Services & Public Policy Disability Committee, with the goal of refining a program model that could be implemented at more federations after 2014. The others are the Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore, Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, Minneapolis Jewish Federation, and UJA-Federation of New York. JFNA’s Washington, DC, office will take part in the program as well.

To learn more about programs and services for individuals with disabilities coordinated through MetroWest ABLE, contact community inclusion coordinator Rebecca Wanatick at 973-929-3129 or rwanatick@jfedgmw.org.

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