April 15, 2024
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Shutaf Addresses Inclusion In Israel Post Oct. 7

(Courtesy of Shutaf) In the spirit of Jewish Disabilities Awareness, Acceptance and Inclusion Month (JDAIM), Beth Steinberg, co-founder of Shutaf Inclusion Programs in Jerusalem, shared an Israeli perspective on life in Israel now, and the challenges of inclusion in Israel and the Jewish community at large, to a West Orange audience at the home of Robin and Dan Amster.

Founded in 2007, Shutaf was created with the mission of offering professional, inclusive informal education experiences for children with diverse abilities. Shutaf is a driving force in inclusion innovation, with year-round informal education programs for 250+ participants ages 6-30.

Steinberg, who accepted the 2017 Sylvan Adams Nefesh B’Nefesh Bonei Zion Prize in the community-nonprofit category for creating and building Shutaf with co-founder Miriam Avraham, spoke of the simultaneous emotional realities of loss and determination that Israelis are feeling since Oct. 7. Through interactive exercises, the attendees grasped insights into the uniqueness, isolation and beauty of the world of people with diverse needs and disabilities.

Given the physical and mental consequences of the war, addressing these needs is relevant now more than ever. Shutaf’s biggest and most needed project is a three-week summer day camp for 150 participants ages 6-30, including two vocational work programs. Now in its 18th year, Shutaf has also grown to offer educational resources for training and mentoring staff with materials available online in Hebrew and English.

For more information and/or to donate, visit Shutaf’s website at www.campshutaf.org.

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