Select Page

Past Events & Programs

Jewish Federation of St. Louis wins the Shine the Light Award from Paraquad for its work towards creating a welcoming and inclusive community. 

Shine the Light Award recipients are nominated by their peers based on accomplishments in areas that may include employment and hiring practices for people with disabilities; dedication to ensuring an accessible facility for all; disability-focused customer service training; support and advocacy for disability rights and services; or similar contributions.

Read the announcement from Paraquad here.


Inviting people with disabilities and their families to participate in a community survey.

Jewish Federation of St. Louis’ Inclusion Initiative invites individuals with disabilities and/or their families to participate in an online community survey. This survey will help us collect data in order to gain insight into and prioritize the needs of individuals with disabilities and their families in the St. Louis Jewish community. The online survey is now closed.


Karen Solomon Internship Initiative

The Karen Solomon Internship Initiative is a program of the St. Louis Jewish Community Inclusion Initiative, created to enhance job skills and provide career training that can lead to meaningful employment in the community for young adults with disabilities.

Jewish Federation of St. Louis invites young adults with disabilities to apply to participate in a paid, 16-week internship experience in a local Jewish community organization. This part-time internship will provide the opportunity for a meaningful employment experience which will allow the intern to obtain important job skills. Training, supervision and mentorship will be provided for this position.


  • Ability to take direction and complete tasks
  • Comfortable in a business office environment
  • Comfortable asking questions and seeking clarification on assigned tasks as needed
  • Ability to work on a computer system and operate office equipment such as copy/fax machines

Additional qualifications will be based on the position and the department to which the intern is assigned.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
Various responsibilities could include, but are not limited to research, writing, data entry, filing, sorting mail, scanning, helping prepare for staff meetings and other duties as requested. Specific responsibilities will vary based on the department assignment.

View the Inclusion Intern Flyer.

Applications are now closed.
This program is made possible by the generous support of the Bill Solomon Family.


Sukkah City Family Event

On Sunday, October 12, The Jewish Community Inclusion Initiative is hosting, in partnership PJ Library and J’s Helene Mirowitz Family Center, a family Sukkot event at Sukkah City STL. Free and accessible for all! Click here to see the flyer.


Open Captioning Provided at 2014 Annual Meeting

Jewish Federation of St. Louis is pleased to announce that CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation), more commonly referred to as ‘open captioning,’ will be provided at the upcoming Annual Meeting on Monday, September 22. As an ongoing initiative, Federation is excited to lead the Jewish community in an effort to provide inclusive services at large events and raise awareness about the accommodations available to improve access to communication.


COAST/Ohr Atid Program starts this weekend

COAST (Chabad Ohr Atid Sunday Torah) is a program that provides Jewish learning for children and young adults with disabilities. Volunteers from the Wash U Jewish community are  paired  for a one-on-one activity with a  student.  Each session includes both one-on-one time, where the pairs focus on goals each student and parent have set, and group time where everyone works together and learns about the theme of the week (such as an upcoming holidays). Sessions can include songs, games, art activities, cooking projects, and other fun activities. COAST meets weekly on Sundays from 10 am-12 pm at Chabad on Campus during the academic year.

There are still few openings for new participants. The program starts on Sunday, September 14.

For more information, please contact or


Community Forum

On June 28, the St Louis Inclusion Initiative hosted an open community forum. Approximately 40 individuals attended the public forum held at JCC West.  The attendees networked, expressed their concerns, and met in small groups to strategize around issues of housing, advocacy, accessibility, employment/training and social opportunities.  The participants included parents of children with disabilities and individuals with disabilities including mobility limitations, deafness and blindness.  The meeting was co-facilitated by Initiative co-chairs Betty Berger and Julie Yawitz, with additional small group support provided by Michelle Levi Perez, Larry Opinsky, Jane Lyss and Greg Yawitz. Attendees expressed appreciation that the Jewish community was recognizing the importance of this issue. The Initiative came out of the meeting with several ideas to move forward with, and several of the groups plan to continue meeting.


Screening of the movie 95 Decibels in Cinema St Louis Filmmakers Showcase, July 13, 2014

95 Decibels, a short film written and directed by Jewish filmmaker and former St. Louisian Lisa Reznik, was chosen to participate in this year’s Cinema St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase, on July 13. It is based on Lisa’s life raising a child with hearing loss. The film is about a young couple facing a diagnosis of deafness in their daughter, and is based on Reznik’s experiences as the parent of a deaf child. In a special article in the Jewish Light, Reznik said that her film focuses on three key areas: the importance of early detection, medical insurance coverage and rehabilitation. The movie also emphasizes the importance of connecting with other parents of deaf children, who can offer helpful insights.

The special screening was followed with open captioning.


February is National Jewish Disability Awareness Month

The St. Louis Jewish Community Inclusion Initiative invites you and your family to celebrate inclusion with us! Attend a parent workshop on setting up special needs trusts while we will keep your kids busy with a special Zumba class and fun balloon activity! Sunday, February 22, JCC Staenberg Family Complex from 2-4 pm. Something for everyone!