As part of Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month, Hebrew Academy hosted a range of initiatives that promoted sensitization and inclusion:
- High School grades watched Just As I Am,a touching CBC documentary about Montreal’s Shira Choir, whose members have disabilities. Grade 10 met with the film’s stars and producers in an engaging Zoom Q & A session coordinated by the Bronfman Jewish Education Centre.
- Bnot Sherut Shaked Azulay and Shira Kolodny led two impactful programs in Elementary; senior students experienced what it would feel like to live with a physical impairment, and the banot acted out Leah Golberg’s famous story, Dira L’Haskir(An Apartment for Rent) for junior grades.
- Grade 3 visited six stations that simulated visual, hearing, physical and communication impairments, among others, led by English teachers Mrs. Elyse Haber, Mrs. Alanna Korman, Mrs. Celina Haber and Ms. Ashley Martin.
- Grades 1 to 3 visited the Elementary Resource Room where students were given an experiential tour of the various tools and support offered to HA students with unique learning abilities.
- Grades 5 and 6 heard from Friendship Circle, JEM Workshop and a representative of Krembo Wings, a youth movement for children with and without disabilities, in a presentation organized by Federation CJA and BJEC.
- Grades 4 to 6 heard from School Rabbi Rabbi Eddie Shostak about the lessons of the Purim story and the nissim nistarim, and emerged with the message that everyone should be included, regardless of whether their limitations are overt or not immediately obvious.
- Grade 4 and Morahs Varda Sebbag and Rivka Benarroch met with Ayala Katz, an Israeli grandmother who was hospitalized with polio for six years as a child and went on to win a gold medal in the Paralympics.