Participants in last year’s Inclusion Journey at the Knesset in Jerusalem, in front of Marc Chagall’s painting “The Exodus.” (photo from JCC inclusion services)
The Jewish Community Centre of Greater Vancouver is part of the international network of Jewish communities celebrating persons with disabilities throughout the month of February. And, on Feb. 6, the entire community is invited to Share the Journey: An Evening of Inspiration, which will feature the screening of My Hero Brother, selected as the leading film for Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month. The event will also include remarks from the Hon. Shane Simpson, the provincial minister of social development and poverty reduction, and a slideshow and presentation by Leamore Cohen, coordinator of the JCC’s inclusion services, about the trip they led to Israel last year.
Many traditions exist within the Jewish community, and we must all work to ensure the accessibility of these traditions for all members of the community. It is within this context that the JCC’s inclusion services led the first-ever Canadian JCC diverse-ability and advocacy Inclusion Journey to Israel, with the support of the Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver, the Gesher Chai Committee and community donors.
Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month reminds us of the importance of cultural connections, inclusive community and accessibility in all traditions and for all people. For its part, the JCC’s inclusion services has organized a number of awareness and visibility initiatives throughout February, including a Ronald McDonald House volunteer initiative with the JCC’s youth programs on Feb. 4 and a “Challa-Luyah” challah bake for the Jewish Food Bank with Axis Vancouver on Feb. 8.
Starting the month’s activities off is the Feb. 6, 6:30 p.m., screening at the Rothstein Theatre. For young Israeli adults, traveling after military service is a right of passage, and My Hero Brother emphasizes that such a right must be available for all young people. In drawing a parallel between local experiences and those highlighted in the film, the JCC hopes to bring attention to the abilities of all persons when community works together.
– JCC inclusion services
The Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver-organized Yom Ha’atzmaut celebration is the community’s biggest gathering of the year, and the committee, led by Pam Wolfman, has booked two Israeli performers to help us celebrate Israel’s 70th anniversary: Shlomi Shaban and Ninet Tayeb.
Shaban is performing at the upcoming Red Sea Jazz Festival, where he is described as having “the ability to create buoyant virtuoso harmony between classical music, rock and pop…. His characteristic straightforward sense of humour frequently moves on a fine line between black tie concert halls and sweaty smoky rock-n-roll stages.”
Tayeb was the winner of Kochav Nolad (Israeli Idol). Music critic Garreth Browne saw her perform in New York and wrote, “it’s safe to say that the entire audience was fixated and almost hypnotized by her presence.”
Tickets went on sale this week for the April 18 celebration. Visit jewishvancouver.com.
– Courtesy of Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver
The Jewish Family Services’ 2018 Innovators Lunch guest speaker will be Leonard Brody. The award-winning entrepreneur, venture capitalist and bestselling author is co-founder and executive chair of Creative Labs, a joint venture with the largest sports and entertainment agency in the world, CAA in Los Angeles. His group is responsible for building new ventures for some of CAA’s most important film, TV and sports celebrities. He also happens to be a community member in Vancouver.
Brody will be talking about The Great Re-Write, his upcoming book in partnership with Forbes magazine, which addresses this unique social and economic moment in history. With rapid social and structural changes have come many challenges for communities, but also opportunities. How do we make the most of this time to invest in our community, uplift society as a whole and ensure we don’t leave people behind? He’ll encourage people to think as innovators to bring about meaningful and lasting social change.
The Innovators Lunch will be held on April 24 at the Vancouver Hyatt. For more details, visit jfsvancouver.ca/innovators.
– Courtesy of Jewish Family Services