Jewish dating special needs

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As we mark the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, I am issuing a challenge to the Jewish community to embrace special needs as a core part of the continuity conversation, and to take active roles in supporting the needs of the disabled.

We cannot afford to ignore the issue of special needs because it is expensive or complex.

BOSTON (JTA) — Since the late 1980s the Jewish conversation — and Jewish funding — has orbited around the goal of Jewish continuity.

Whether the cause is Jewish peoplehood, intermarriage, education or even Israel, ensuring our Jewish continuity inevitably grounds the discussion.

* Yachad provides Jewish programming and experiences in educational, recreational and social settings throughout the United States and Canada.

* And in Israel, Israel Unlimited, a partnership of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, the Israeli government and the Ruderman Family Foundation is engaged in integrating people with disabilities in the community.

These are all examples of pacesetting organizations making great strides on this issue.

However, there are no mechanisms — particularly in the funding community — for sharing information and pursuing collaborative endeavors that perpetuate these regional programs.

We need to tackle Jewish continuity head-on by ensuring that Jews with special needs have a place to live, learn and work within our communities.

And with the launch of Jewish Singles with Special Needs ( Alouf has intensified her efforts to help Jewish singles from diverse backgrounds find their bashert.

With 13 years of experience as a professional matchmaker, her goal is to reduce intermarriage by uniting Jewish singles.

Members provide information about themselves and the attributes they are seeking in a potential partner and can also search through an online database of Jewish Singles. A New York-based client of Jewish Quality Singles had been corresponding with a woman in Miami who was about to fly to New York to meet with him in person for the first time. Alouf's client asked to meet with Alouf before this momentous first meeting.

Devora said she tries to meet most of the members by either visiting them in person or contacting them via phone or e-mail. When she met with him, Devora discovered that he had a physical disability - part of his body was paralyzed.

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