Shabbat Itanu is the annual Shabbat service held in conjunction with many congregations across Toronto as part of a broader UJA Initiative to promote inclusion and accessibility within the Jewish Community.  The DJC Accessibility Initiative is pleased to welcome this year’s special guest John Guido, a member of L’Arche Toronto, who will speak on their vision of an inclusive community.

As the DJC continues with its own conversations about the kind of community we want to build, and Eastminster moves ahead with renovating the building for physical accessibility, it will be exciting to hear about a unique model of community from a member of another east end, faith-based organization.

L’Arche is an international federation dedicated to the creation and growth of homes, programs, and support networks for people who have intellectual disabilities.  It was formed in 1964 when Jean Vanier, son of then Canadian Governor General Georges Vanier, welcomed two men with disabilities into his home in France.  Today it is an international organization operating within 147 communities in 35 countries.  L’Arche functions as a community model rather than a medical or social services model, and strives to make known the capacities of people with disabilities to enrich relationships and build communities where the values of compassion, inclusion, and diversity are upheld and lived by every person.

Amy Steele on behalf of the Accessibility Initiative Committee

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