Ruderman Prize Profile: 50 Years Of Supporting Toronto’s Jewish Day Schools”

Ruderman Prize Profile: 50 Years Of Supporting Toronto’s Jewish Day Schools”

Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer directs Jewish Learning Venture’s Whole Community Inclusion which fosters inclusion of people with disabilities through the Philadelphia Jewish community. She loves writing/editing for “The New Normal” and for WHYY’s newsworks. Her latest book The Little Gate Crasher is a memoir of her Great-Uncle Mace Bugen, a self-made millionaire and celebrity selfie-artist who was 43 inches tall and was chosen for this year’s Jewish Disability Awareness & Inclusion Month Book Selections. She’s recently shared an ELI Talk on Standing With Families Raising Kids With Disabilities and has released a journal designed for special needs parents.

Editor's Note: In July, the Ruderman Family Foundation awarded five prizes to agencies across the world that are making the Jewish community into a more inclusive one. The New Normal will profile each of these amazing agencies over the next month. Click here to read previous profiles.

Jewish Vocational Service of Toronto is proud of their Jewish heritage and is committed to supporting Toronto’s Jewish community through the following: a job matching program that connects Jewish jobseekers and employers; a collaboration with Jewish Family and Child, to provide employment support to the most vulnerable in our community and an Integrated Jewish Day School Psychology Program, which offers psychoeducational assessments and staff consultation and support services to 19 campuses of 12 Jewish Day Schools.

"JVS Toronto is honored and delighted to be the recipient of the 2014 Ruderman Prize in Inclusion, a wonderful recognition of the work of our Psychological Services team. This year marks the 50th anniversary of our delivery of psychological assessment and consultation supports in Toronto Jewish Day Schools," says Chief Psychologist Dr. Reena Kronitz."Our skilled and talented psychology staff work closely with the schools, supporting them in understanding and effectively teaching all children, including students with special education needs. We are very proud of the role that we play in supporting the provision of Jewish education to all children.”

JVS Toronoto provides assessment and consultation services in 16 elementary and high school campuses of Toronto Jewish Day Schools and in two public school boards. In their Head Office clinic, they also see college and university students and young adults who are looking for educational supports or career direction. Last year JVS provided 692 school assessments. The students that JVS Toronto supports have a wide range of disabilities, including ADHD, autism, anxiety and other learning disabilities that can impact learning.

One teacher who has worked with JVS remarks,"I think that the Psychoeducational Assessment process works very well and I am pleased to get all the feedback from the psychologist and IEP support from the excellent and very professional resource person at our school. It's extremely helpful, often confirming things we suspected and then putting in place a specific program to assist the student."

lan Eklove is a teenager who came to JVS in grade one as a young boy experiencing anxiety, ticks and stimuli sensitivity. His mother suspected he had a learning disability and turned to JVS Toronto for psychological assessment services. Today Ilan is a confident young man, succeeding in academics and music. Click here to learn about his journey and how JVS supports made the difference in his education.

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