INCLUDE NAMED AMONG BEST JEWISH INCLUSION PROGRAMS IN NORTH AMERICA

Slingshot Guide Highlights the Best of the Thriving Jewish Nonprofit World

SAN FRANCISCO, CA –INCLUDE North Peninsula, a partnership led by Jewish LearningWorks and the SF-based Jewish Community Federation & Endowment Fund (the Federation), has been named one of 18 leading Jewish initiatives committed to fostering inclusion of people with disabilities in a new supplement to the Slingshot Guide. This supplement will help further expand the ability of INCLUDE North Peninsula to carry out its mission of working with the broader Jewish community to welcome and embrace children with special needs and their families, as well as expand the resources available to volunteers, activists and donors looking for new opportunities and projects that, through their innovative nature, will ensure the Jewish community remains relevant and thriving.

INCLUDE, a collaboration of synagogues, day schools, JCCs, preschools and other community organizations committed to making their religious, educational, and community programs accessible to all, was selected from among hundreds of finalists reviewed by 83 professionals with expertise in grant-making and Jewish communal life. Organizations included in this year’s disability and inclusion supplement were evaluated on innovative approach, impact, leadership in the given sector of work, and effectiveness at achieving results. One such evaluator praised INCLUDE for its use of “strategic partnerships to maximize resources and avoid duplication of services [while] building capacity within the institutions it serves.”

“INCLUDE is beyond proud to be among the programs in this publication..” said Dr. David NeufeldDirector of Special Needs Programs and Services at Jewish LearningWorks.  “We are equally thrilled to see The Slingshot Guide acknowledge the need for inclusion work in our community and are proud to be among the organizations featured in this inaugural supplement”.  

Added Julie Golde, Director of Grants at the Federation, “The unique and collaborative nature of the INCLUDE partnership is an integral part of what makes the program so successful. The Federation is proud to be part of this important work, as helping to create community that is truly welcoming and accessible for all is core to our values and mission.”

Added Will Schneider, Executive Director of Slingshot, which publishes the Guide each year, “The introduction of the disability and inclusion supplement is an important milestone in the work of Slingshot. All too often, the discussions about disability and inclusion take place quietly only among impacted families and those who advocate on their behalf. We hope this Guide will inspire those who are already part of the discussion, while also bringing new voices into it. It only makes sense to give these organizations the recognition they deserve and in doing so, also boost their presence among volunteers, donor and activists. The Guide is the framework for a community that through the collaboration that results from inclusion in the Guide, becomes something significantly more effective than what each of the individual organizations can achieve on their own.”

Being listed in the Guide is often a critical step for selected organizations to attain much needed additional funding and to expand the reach of their work. Selected organizations are eligible for grants from the Slingshot Fund, a peer-giving network of young donors with an eye for identifying, highlighting and advancing causes that resonate the most with the next generation of philanthropists. Furthermore, the Guide is a frequently used resource for donors seeking to support organizations transforming the world in novel and interesting ways.

About the Slingshot Guide

The Slingshot Guide, now in its ninth year, was created by a team of young funders as a guidebook to help funders of all ages diversify their giving portfolios to include the most innovative and effective organizations, programs and projects in North America. The Guide contains information about each organization’s origin, mission, strategy, impact and budget, as well as details about its unique character. The Slingshot Guide has proven to be a catalyst for next generation funding and offers a telling snapshot of shifting trends in North America's Jewish community – and how nonprofits are meeting new needs and reaching new audiences. The book, published annually, is available in hard copy and as a free download at www.slingshotfund.org.

About INCLUDE North Peninsula

Approximately 9,000 Jewish children under the age of 18 in the Bay Area are diagnosed with some kind of learning or developmental disability. Despite a longing for Jewish connection, many have felt let down or excluded by the community, mainly because organizations have lacked the necessary support to plan for and serve children with special needs.

Jewish LearningWorks and the Federation believe that the community has a responsibility to welcome and embrace children with special needs and their families. We created INCLUDE to address that need and opportunity:  a collaboration of synagogues, day schools, JCCs, and other community organizations committed to making  religious, educational, and community programs accessible to all.

Working together, we are better able to serve children with special needs and their families. We provide resources and training to educators; we partner with institutions to develop holiday programming designed with the needs of different types of learners and their families in mind; we strive to enable organizations to reach, teach, and ignite a passion for Jewish learning for all participants. .

Our goal is to foster an environment of warmth, acceptance, and meaningful inclusion in the Jewish community for a group of people who have for too long felt like they did not have a place here.

For more information, please contact Director of Special Needs Programs and Services

David Neufeld, Ph.D. at 415.751.6983 x150 or  dneufeld@jewishlearningworks.org