The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore is among five federations nationwide to receive a Ruderman Family Foundation Opportunity Initiative grant to place young adults with disabilities in workplace-based internships and fellowships. The Jewish Federations of North America, which is working with the foundation to implement the initiative, also will have a fellow in its Washington, D.C., office.
“This initiative, in collaboration with JFNA, will provide an outstanding opportunity to promote inclusion and
diversity in our Jewish institutions,” said Jay Ruderman, president of the Ruderman Family Foundation. “Each of these five federations, along with JFNA, has a clear vision for how [it] can best develop a culture of inclusion in [its] organization through providing this opportunity to people with disabilities, and we look forward to working alongside them to make this program a reality.”
In addition to The Associated and JFNA’s Washington office, Jewish federations in Los Angeles, New Jersey, Minneapolis and New York also received grants.
JFNA senior legislative associate David Feinman, who directs the initiative, said that communities that received Ruderman grants will serve as pilot projects for the entire federation system.
“We will be testing this model in these communities to see what works and what doesn’t,” he explained, noting that the initiative is funded through 2014. “The Ruderman Family Foundation is committed to the idea of federations playing leading roles in promoting inclusion in the Jewish community. … We hope to expand the program so that eventually it can be implemented in all 150 federations.”
“We are thrilled to bring this outstanding opportunity for inclusion to Baltimore,” said Marc B. Terrill, president of The Associated. “The Associated is committed to improving awareness of disability needs within the community, and we see this as a moment that will spur inclusion throughout the region and beyond.”