The purpose of Jewish Disability Awareness, Acceptance, and Inclusion Month (JDAIM) is to unite Jewish communities to raise awareness and champion the rights of all Jews, including Jews with disabilities, to be respected, valued, and included in all aspects of Jewish community life.

"February is when we direct attention to understanding, to listening, and to learning together about how the Jewish community can actively engage in education around disability. The other eleven months must be where we put this education into ongoing, evolving, and authentic practice."

Shelly Christensen, MA, FAAIDD
Senior Director of Faith Inclusion and Belonging, RespectAbility
JDAIM Co-founder

Planting Seeds of Hope

Join Tamir in February as we plant wildflower seeds to support diversity of the garden and the community. Hosted by Rabbi Nir Koren, Tamir. Contact Jodi Green, to learn more and sign up.

February 5 – Hillel Lodge, 10:30 am
February 6 – AJA50+, 10:15 am
February 8 – JCC Lobby, open to all, 2-4 pm
February 22 – JCC Lobby, open to all, 2-4 pm

Read more about Seeds of Hope in the
Ottawa Jewish E-Bulletin

February 2024 will be JOIN’s 5th year of presenting the annual Inclusion Leadership Contest for youth! This contest is open to ALL children and youth up to grade 12. This is a wonderful way to share one's voice, win prizes, and connect with others on the topic of inclusion, ableism, disability, and belonging. Deadline for submissions is February 28, 2024 at 6 pm!

This year’s challenge:

What is one thing YOU can do today to make your home, classroom, or organization more welcoming in the future?
Answer this question alone or in a group, with any format you can email: writing, audio, video, or photo.
This contest if for ALL youth up to grade 12. Be in touch if we can support you to participate.
How to enter: email you submission to
Parents complete the permission form and learn more at:

Loving Our Own Bones: A Conversation with Rabbi Julia Watts Belser
February 6, 2024 at 2 pm

Rabbi Julia Watts Belser will discuss her new book Loving Our Own Bones: Disability Wisdom and the Spiritual Subversiveness of Knowing Ourselves Whole. Julia brings Jewish sacred texts into relationship with disability culture to deepen conversations about disability, spirituality, and social justice. We’ll explore access and ableism in biblical texts and contemporary culture, explore how Shabbat practice can offer us spiritual tools for centering disability wisdom, and consider disability as a generative force that calls us to confront structures of exclusion and recommit to the work of building a more welcoming world.
Register here

Celebrating Jewish and Disabled Creativity During JDAIM
February 15, 2024 at 1:30 pm

Celebrate the work of Jewish disabled writers and filmmakers. Learn from Asha Chai-Chang, a two-time Netflix writer/director Fellow and Emmy nominated producer; Eden Hadad, a writer/director with a penchant for crafting cinematic tales about bad people with good hearts; and Ava Rigelhaupt, a writer, consultant, actress, public speaker, and advocate for disability and autism representation in the entertainment industry. Not only did each panelist complete RespectAbility’s Entertainment Lab, but they also each represent a variety of intersectional identities that make them the writers they are today.
Register here

Private Sneak Peak and Conversation: THIRTEEN
February 28, 2024 at 4 pm

Celebrate JDAIM with RespectAbility by joining us in a conversation about the upcoming film THIRTEEN. Based on a true story, THIRTEEN is a short film about a mother fighting to have a Bat Mitzvah for her disabled and terminally ill daughter in a synagogue that refuses to break from tradition. During this exclusive event, we’ll explore the intersections of ableism and antisemitism and the ongoing impact in Jewish communities, hearing from members of the team behind the making of THIRTEEN, with sneak peeks of clips from the film! Participants must register in advance to attend.
Register here

Examining Jewish Values on Inclusion and Access
February 15, 29, March 7
12 pm - 1 pm EST

Join Rabbi Lauren Tuchman for a three-part webinar series anchored by classic Jewish texts that invite us into a conversation about kavod habriot (human dignity) and how this foundational value is as important now as it has ever been. Each webinar will cover practical, actionable strategies for ensuring that your synagogue, school and community have this value at the center of everything you do.
Intended Audience: Jewish educators, youth directors and clergy; however, all are welcome to attend.
Free. Voluntary contribution appreciated. For the sessions and to receive the recordings after the webinars,
Register here

Risa Plotnick,
Executive Director, 
Tal Pagli,
Case Manager, Tikvah Unit 
Jewish Family Services of Ottawa
613-722-2225 ext. 481

Jodi Green,

Jewish Federation of Ottawa Communications and Advocacy Specialist

613-798-4696 x 228

Dr. Madelaine Werier,
Parent Advocate
Co-Founder of JOIN (Jewish Ottawa Inclusion Network)