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Howard in the News

Jun52013
Three Jewish educators receive Covenant Foundation awards
June 5, 2013

NEW YORK (JTA) — Three Jewish educators are being honored with Covenant Foundation awards. The recipients of the annual awards given for excellence in Jewish education in America are Howard Blas, director of the Tikvah program at Camp Ramah in New England; Judy Finkelstein-Taff, head of… Read more...

Mar62013
Jewish camps seeking to bring diverse groups under the same tent
March 6, 2013

NEW YORK (JTA) — Is there a more enthusiastic camper in the world than Ezra Fields-Meyer, a 17-year-old with high-functioning autism and a regular at Camp Ramah in Southern California? Not if you ask his father. Tom Fields-Meyer says his son’s annual visit to the rural retreat in Ojai, 80 miles… Read more...

Feb182013
Fresh Perspectives on Israel
February 18, 2013

Friends, Today I’m happy to share with you a fascinating description of Israel through the eyes of a group of young adults with Asperger Syndrome. Howard Blas, architect of Ramah New England’s highly respected inclusion program, accompanied this group on their Birthright trip and… Read more...

Jan282013
Looking for Connections
January 28, 2013

Taglit-Birthright Israel’s 10-day trip to Israel has a mission to connect young Jews, ages 18 to 26, not only with Israel, but with their Jewish identity and each other. Once a year, a very special trip takes place for young adults for whom making connections is a challenge. The participants on… Read more...

Jul242012
Blind camper’s case points up Jewish camps’ struggle to meet special needs
July 24, 2012

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Solomon Krishef was thrilled to learn that this summer he could go to his Jewish sleepaway camp for eight weeks — twice as long as the previous four summers. It was not to be for the Michigan teenager. During visiting day in the middle of the summer, his family says, the camp… Read more...

May102012
Tikvah Director Howard Blas Receives S'fatai Tiftakh Award at Hebrew College
May 10, 2012

In recognition of his important contributions to creating inclusive Jewish lives for those with special needs, Hebrew College’s Center for Jewish Special Education has presented the S’fatai Tiftakh award to Howard Blas at their fourth annual national GISHA (access) conference… Read more...

Apr62012
Howard Blas to be awarded prestigious S’fatai Tiftakh Award
April 6, 2012

Howard will be receiving the prestigious S’fatai Tiftakh Award on Monday, April 30th, 2012 by Hebrew College’s Center for Jewish Special Education: Read more...

Mar302012
Tikvah Director Howard Blas to Receive S’fatai Tiftakh Award at Hebrew College!
March 30, 2012

We are very excited to share this special announcement with the Ramah community. MAZAL TOV, Howard! Anyone who has spent time at Camp Ramah in New England is immediately aware that this camp is magical for the campers who live among their peers, creating a Jewish space, time, and community. And… Read more...

Feb32012
Israel Through Special Eyes
February 3, 2012

Sitting at the Nalaga’at ("Please Touch”) Center in Jaffa, Howard Blas, special educator and social worker from New York, sits down to speak with The Jerusalem Post about a fascinating group of young men and women who have come to Israel for a 10-day trip. The travelers, all affiliated with… Read more...

Nov112011
The Prize for Perseverance
November 11, 2011

When I saw the news headlines announcing that Professor Dan Shechtman, an Israeli, won the Nobel Prize in chemistry, I was proud. But when I read further and learned the details of his story, I knew that we just had to interview him for Babaganewz. Professor Shechtman discovered something called… Read more...

Jul182011
Tour de Shuls raises money for camp program
July 18, 2011

This year, the crowd got larger and the money raised grew too, at the 2nd Annual Tour de Shuls held on Father’s Day. For those unfamiliar with the term, “shul” is another word for synagogue. The fundraiser, hosted by Beth El Temple, brought out more than 100 cyclists, runners and… Read more...

Feb42011
Jewish Disabilities Awareness Month
February 4, 2011

I am delighted at how much press Jewish Disabilities Awareness Month has been receiving. Please see my original blog posting on Davar Acher: http://jjffeducators.blogspot.com (see the lovely comment just received). And on our Ramah New England site:… Read more...

Jan182011
Attention To Disabilities Seen Changing
January 18, 2011

A Modern Orthodox Jew living on the Upper East Side, she has encountered her share of frustration, especially as she looked for a Jewish day school or yeshiva with the resources that might have served her daughter, only to conclude that none did. Like the parents of many Jewish children with… Read more...

Oct142010
New Haven educator among presenters at first Jewish special needs funding conference
October 14, 2010

NEW YORK, N.Y. — Jewish philanthropists from the U.S., Israel, Australia and the United Kingdom will gather in New York City on Oct. 20 to tackle the issue of special needs at ADVANCE: The Ruderman Jewish Special Needs Funding Conference. Hosted by the Ruderman Family Foundation, in partnership… Read more...

Aug22010
Camp for Everyone: The blessings of Jewish camps for special-needs kids
August 2, 2010

Are you completely sick of me yammering about camp? Well, you’ll be glad to know that this is my last camp-related column of the summer. But while the others have been jokey, this one is anything but. Ezra Kress at camp in 2010. Photo by Jeffrey Kress Meet Ezra, the 12-year-old son of my… Read more...

Jul132010
Ramah Special Needs Program Celebrates 40 Years of Inclusion
July 13, 2010

Campers, families, counselors and others touched by Ramah’s Tikvah program for special needs youth converged Sunday at Camp Ramah New England to mark the groundbreaking initiative and four decades of impact. The Tikvah program, established at Camp Ramah New England in 1970, and now active… Read more...

Jul122010
Camp Ramah Marks 40 Years of Inclusion for Special Needs Campers
July 12, 2010

Avi Friedman Matthew Bander, left, of Brighton, is a former Tikvah camper who attended the 40th anniversary celebrations at Camp Ramah New England on Sunday. He is pictured with Emily Perlmutter, a friend of his and the program. PALMER, MA — Campers, families, counselors and others touched… Read more...

Feb282010
Inauguration of the Jim Joseph Building
February 28, 2010

I am writing this at the close of a series of meetings with the Jim Joseph Fellows who are members of the fellowship program that I am heading up together with my colleague, Esther Feldman. The Fellows are educational leaders in a wide variety of venues who have been brought together as a group and… Read more...

Jan122010
Educators Going Viral
January 12, 2010

Jerusalem — Conference organizers usually frown on participants who Facebook, Tweet or Google during a seminar, but no one objected when some of the 14 participants in a new fellowship program for Jewish educators did just that during a lively lecture. Hand-picked for their expertise as… Read more...

Dec12009
Howard Blas Awarded Prestigious Fellowship
December 1, 2009

Congratulations to Westville Shul member Howard Blas who is one of fourteen individuals selected from over two hundred applicants for the new Jim Joseph Foundation fellowship program created at Bar-Ilan University. The fellowship seeks to identify, train and empower leading educators in both formal… Read more...

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