Ruderman Family Foundation, a JDC Partner, Announces Disability Prizes

The Ruderman Family Foundation, the Boston and Israel-based foundation that JDC partners with on important efforts for the inclusion of people with disabilities in Israel,  announced the winners of its 2013 Ruderman Prize in Disability. The award honors innovation in the inclusion of people with disabilities in the Jewish community.

Nearly 250 organizations applied for the prize, which was awarded to groups in Argentina, the United States, South Africa, and Israel.

“We’re proud that this year’s winners are organizations that were not disability-oriented but made inclusion a priority,” they wrote in a statement. “They are shining examples of what can be done and accomplished when deciding that inclusion is important and significant.

JDC, the Ruderman Family Foundation, and the Government of Israel launched their Israel Unlimited Partnership for Israeli adults with disabilities in 2009 and in January, announced a dramatic $12.5 million expansion. In the past five years, Israel Unlimited has reached tens of thousands of Israelis with disabilities through a partnership dedicated to empowering them to advocate on their own behalf and live independently, and to highlighting their integral role as Israeli citizens.

This year’s Ruderman Prize winners are: B’nai Amoona Synagogue (St. Louis, Mo.), United Herzlia School (Cape Town, South Africa), AMIT (Israel), Fundación Judaica (Buenos Aires, Argentina) and Sunflower Bakery (Gaithersburg, Md.).

In 2012, the prize’s inaugural year, awardees hailed from the United States, United Kingdom, Mexico, Israel, and Russia. Applications for the 2013 award were up 50 percent from last year; organizations from almost every continent applied this year. Each of this year’s winners will receive $50,000 to continue their work and pursue new opportunities for inclusion in their local communities.

We salute the Ruderman Prize winners and our partner, the Ruderman Family Foundation, for their inspiring work.

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