Cdn group marks Jewish Disability Awareness & Inclusion Month in Ottawa

Ottawa, ON—On February 21st, leaders from Jewish Federations, family service agencies, and community based residential organizations joined activists, parents and family members in Ottawa to speak with Parliamentarians from all parties to discuss the Canadians with Disabilities Act and Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month. Members of the delegation engaged and educated political leaders about the potential impact of new disabilities legislation and unique issues facing Canada’s Jewish community. 


“The Jewish community is committed to working with parliamentarians across the political spectrum to ensure that disabilities legislation helps all Canadians and also takes into consideration some unique challenges faced by Canada’s Jewish community. Today’s visit, which we intend to turn into an annual event, includes Canadian Jewish leaders from across Canada who represent almost every Canadian Jewish community active in community based and residential aspects of the disabilities field.” 

– Linda Kislowicz, President & CEO, Jewish Federations of Canada – UIA (JFC-UIA)

The Canadian delegation with MP Peter Kent“The Jewish community has a tremendous amount to offer in advancing inclusion and accessibility for people with disabilities. This was an opportunity for those at the forefront of dealing with disabilities related issues within our community to connect with elected officials and advance a range of policy recommendations, from accessibility legislation and tax benefits to immigration reform and housing. In the spirit of Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month, this initiative seeks to break down barriers and advance inclusion and accommodation for all Canadians with disabilities, their families and caregivers."

– Shimon Koffler Fogel, CEO, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs

Additional Background

  • The delegation represents communities in Vancouver, Calgary, Hamilton, Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa.

The delegation addressed:

  • The Canadians with Disabilities Act, with a specific focus on accountability and enforcement
  • Ways to expand tax benefits for people with disabilities and their caregivers
  • Service loss due to jurisdictional transition or aging out of support
  • Criteria for permanent residency so that people with disabilities and their families are not unfairly prevented from living in Canada
  • Ensuring that federal infrastructure spending on affordable housing addresses the needs of people with disabilities

Members of the delegation:

  • Linda Kislowicz – President & CEO, Jewish Federations of Canada – UIA, National
  • Daniel Amar   - Executive Director at Miriam Home and Services, Montreal
  • Barb Babij – CEO, Hamilton Jewish Federation
  • Kim Coulter – President and CEO of JVS Toronto
  • Andrea Gardner – ‎Assistant Executive Director at Jewish Family Services of Ottawa  
  • Gary Gladstone  - Principal, Gladstone Consulting, Toronto
  • Allyson Grant -  Assistant Director, Government Relations and University Outreach, CIJA, Toronto
  • Bryan Keshen  -  ‎President and CEO at REENA, Toronto
  • Liviya Mendelsohn  - Manager, Accessibility and Inclusion at the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre - ‎UJA Federation of Greater Toronto
  • Madi Murariu – Associate Director, Ontario Government Relations and Public Affairs, CIJA
  • Mark Palmer  - Executive Director, Tamir | Jewish Community Living in Ottawa
  • Connie Putterman  - Parent, Research Advocate, Toronto
  • Maxime Robert – Associate Director, Government Relations and Public Policy (Quebec), CIJA
  • Judy Shapiro  - Associate Executive Director , Calgary Jewish Federation
  • Susie Sokol – Co-Founder,  Dani-Toronto
  • Dr. Gail Krivel Zacks – Registered psychologist, educational consultant & clinical counsellor specializing in services for children, Vancouver

The delegation met with:

  • The Honourable Peter Kent, P.C., M.P.
  • The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, P.C., M.P., Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities
  • The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, P.C., M.P., Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
  • Anthony Housefather, M.P.
  • Michael Levitt, M.P.
  • Bob Zimmer, M.P.
  • Dan Ruimy, M.P.
  • Cheryl Hardcastle, M.P.


JFC-UIA supports Canadian Jewish federations & communities by increasing philanthropic capabilities, national & international influence, connection to Israel.

Contact JFC-UIA:  Terri Boidman

The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) is the advocacy agent of the Jewish Federations of Canada-UIA.

Contact CIJA:  Martin Sampson 613-219-3500 


Add Comment