Submitted by Jay Ruderman, President of the Ruderman Family Foundation

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Authentic and dynamic Jewish leaders recognize that all people can make vital contributions to our synagogues and communities.  Including people with disabilities is not an act of charity, but an essential strategy for strengthening our Jewish community.  Inclusion of people with disabilities is also one way that we acknowledge b'tzelem elohim - the idea that we are all created in God's image.  This teaching inspires a mindset of inclusion, which inspires us to think beyond physical accommodations like ramps, and creates an atmosphere that is welcoming for people of all abilities.  By recognizing that we must include people with disabilities in all aspects of Jewish life, we make our community strong, authentic, and dynamic

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