Disability-informed Days of Awe: A practical series for rabbis and cantors

Jews with disabilities can face insurmountable barriers to accessing Jewish community, and often feel invisible to Jewish spiritual leaders. Your leadership on the High Holy Days can repair some of this isolation. This three-session series will help you to develop your disability-informed spiritual leadership skills, reach Jews with disabilities, and build a more inclusive community. 

Sessions will take place on August 24th. August 30th, and September 6th from 1-2 EDT via Zoom.

$50/webinar or $100 for all three sessions.

Webinars will be recorded and made available to participants with captions. (At this point the webinars will *not* have live CART captioning. If that's an access barrier for you, let me know and I will generate a 50% off discount code.)

This series is offered as part of an ongoing clergy education project by Anachnu, the Jewish organization for disability-informed Torah and accessible community.

Session #1: Setting the stage for inclusivity: Planning practical accessibility and communicating welcome

It's not too late to make this year's Yamim Noraim services more accessible to Jews with disabilities! 

Rabbi Regan will discuss opportunities to welcome Jews with disabilities, even as the holidays are rapidly approaching — and ways to use things that go wrong this year to set the stage for greater inclusivity next year.

Rabbi Regan will also discuss pastoral implications — what subtext might exist in conversations with Jews with disabilities at this time of year? How might things that happen over the holidays have lingering effects on Jews with disabilities? 

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Session #2: Speaking to your congregation: Considerations for sermons.

Are you worried about saying the wrong thing about disability in your Yamim Noraim sermon? Do you want to make sure that your disabled congregants know you're there for them? This is the webinar for you.

Rabbi Regan will discuss the spiritual context Jews with disabilities are operating in, and the implications for sermons and Torah commentary. Jews with disabilities often feel overlooked at this time of year, and you can be part of the solution. Every sermon topic has both pitfalls that can alienate and opportunities to welcome. For instance, sermons about forgiveness can endanger those struggling to cope with discrimination — but they can also be an opportunity for solidarity. Sermons about Yom Kippur as a rehearsal for death can alienate those who aren't sure that they'll survive the year — but they can also be an opportunity to show congregants in precarious health that you value their lives.

Come and hear more about the pitfalls and opportunities of commentary about forgiveness, teshuva, Abraham and Isaac, death, the political situation, meeting the other, divine judgement, balancing mercy and judgement, shofar, Israel, Hannah's infertility, Jewish continuity, parenting, and other popular sermon topics. 

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Session #3: Praying on behalf of your community: Including your disabled congregants in your shlichut. 

This session was developed with cantors in mind; all Jewish spiritual leaders and shlichei ha-tzibur are welcome.

This session is focused on issues of shlikhut, and inclusive prayer leadership.

Rabbi Regan will discuss:

  • Keeping Jews with disability in mind in your davening.
  • Praying on behalf of Jews who are unable to pray their own prayers.
  • The connection between HHD liturgy and the spiritual concerns of Jews with disabilities.
  • The unique opportunities cantors have to welcome Jews with disabilities.
  • Considerations for music and performance choices.
  • Challenges and opportunities of commenting on tefillah

Rabbi Regan will also discuss spiritual insights from the disability community that can help us pray for the difficult times we are living in.

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