02 June 2008

Press Release: YCT Rabbinical school's Seminar on The Rabbi and Persons with Physical Disabilities

PRESS RELEASE
YCT Rabbinical School's Seminar on The Rabbi and Persons with Physical Disabilities
Contact: Oksana Bellas 212.666.0036 or obellas@yctorah.org
June 2008, New York City - During the week of June 2nd, Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School is launching a new innovative curriculum segment of its program to help rabbinical students explore the issues the issues associated with inclusion and accessibility in the Jewish community. It is believed that this is the first program focused on these issues in any clergy-training program of any faith.
The curriculum, which will alternate years in discussing issues associated with Physical Disabilities and Learning/Developmental Disabilities, will look at the practical, pastoral, theological, and halakhic issues associated with integrating people with disabilities into a community. The curriculum will have session son inclusion in synagogues, schools, and camps, as well as exploration of the impact of inclusion of the disabled on families and the broader community and the need for advocacy on the part of religious leadership. It will broach subjects such as lifecycle events including marriage and sexuality. YCT rabbis will learn to deal directly with issues of halakhic challenges, theodicy, and the ethics of genetic choices.
"This new program is reflective of YCT's commitment to training rabbis who are sensitive to the needs of the entire community. Through this part of our curriculum, students will not only learn about realities of those living with disabilities, they will also explore halakhic and pastoral implications. It is, in effect, rabbinic training at its ideal - an integration of Jewish Law, philosophy, practical rabbinics, and the human dimension," commented Rabbi Dov Linzer, YCT's Rosh HaYeshiva and Dean.
The program will feature the prespectives of leading voices from within the disabled community, as well as rabbinic leaders and ethicists who have been on the front line of developing and implementing their own visions of an inclusive religious Jewish community.
The program will take place at YCT's Beit Midrash, 606 W 115th Street, NYC, and run from Monday, June 2 through Friday, June 6.

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