UpStart Bay Area, the S.F.-based nonprofit that supports up-and-coming Jewish social entrepreneurs, welcomed three new groups into its cohort this month, while transitioning five current UpStarter organizations to “alumni” status — meaning they’ve proven to be sustainable organizations on their own. The new groups cover a wide scope of interests.
For Jewish families raising a child or teen with special needs, the challenges of how to have our child included in the larger Jewish community are a deeply-felt issue, but the burning question has always been this -- how do we get those not personally impacted to make inclusion a communal priority?
Walk outside toward the corner closest to you. As you approach it, notice the slight decline in the pavement. You might feel some raised bumps beneath your feet and without thinking your whole body recognizes that you are about to enter the street and you stop. You have experienced the curb cut, the depression in the curb that allows us to enter the street safely.
In a small community in Pittsburgh, starting in 1910, there was a shift in mindset. The Pittsburgh Blind Association started to teach people with visual impairment how to make brooms, an item found in every home, but rarely given much thought. That year, in Pittsburgh, they thought a lot about brooms and about who would be the best person for the job of broom maker.