A Message from our CEO, Dr. Shana Erenberg
Tomorrow is the first day of National Jewish Disabilities Awareness and Inclusion Month. It’s also the first day of Adar (Mishenichnas Adar, marbin besimcha – we are joyful because it’s Adar!). Libenu celebrates the great strides that the Jewish community has made, and we know our work is not done. There are so many more ways to make a difference in the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, from the tiniest action to major policy changes.
Recently, we have all experienced limitations. We have all tasted loneliness. We have all felt vulnerable. Now we understand, better than before, how meaningful a gesture of friendship can be. At Libenu, we’ve been amazed, over and over again, by the kindnesses of our community: friends and neighbors leading an outdoor adventure, dropping off treats, reading Megillah, or blowing shofar. The smiles you have elicited are immeasurable.
What we are doing together – you and I and the entire Libenu community – actually goes beyond inclusion. We are not just making it possible for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to attend an event. We are creating a sense of belonging. And when we foster a sense of belonging for others, that is exactly what we get in return.
Not coincidentally, tomorrow is also the first day of Libenu’s 2022 #LiveLoveLibenu campaign, during which you will be receiving more messages than usual. We aim to share more with you, to include you in more of our stories, to give you even more of a sense of belonging. As our primary outreach effort, this is also your opportunity to open your arms and welcome more people into our community. Perhaps you have friends who don’t know about Libenu but would like to be part of our world. Please forward our emails, share our social media posts, and talk about what makes you proud to belong to the Libenu community.
Please watch for our #LiveLoveLibenu messages throughout the coming month. We hope that each one will make a difference in your life and in the lives of those who benefit most immediately from Libenu’s work.