Another Award For Inclusion
June 5, 2013 by Helen Chernikoff
Hot on the heels of the announcement that Eric Rosenthal of Disability Rights International won the Charles Bronfman Prize, another major Jewish award is going to a disability community leader.Howard Blas
, director of the Tikvah Program at Camp Ramah in New England, is one of this yearâ€™s three winners of the Covenant Foundationâ€™s Award for Exellence in Jewish Education.
â€œHoward is a transformative leader and teacher,â€ said Shira Arcus, coordinator of the National Ramah Special Needs Network, who nominated Blas
for The Covenant Award. â€œHe envisions people with special needs integrated into the fabric of Jewish life and does not hesitate to challenge assumptions to attain that goal. He inspires everyone in our community to see each other bâ€™tzelem Elokim, in Godâ€™s image.â€
Ramah New Englandâ€™s Tikvah program is an eight-week
overnight experience for 60 campers with disabilities, fully integrated within a summer camp attracting 800 children and teens.
, the foundation says, this program has become a national model. It boasts an in-cabin
inclusion program that integrates campers with disabilities in to typical bunks, an expanded vocational training program and year-round
programming for Tikvah campers and their families.