Five Jewish organizations split Ruderman Family Foundation’s $250K inclusion prize

Jewish Family Services (JFS) of Houston President Debra Cohen (left) and Becky Cisneros at the family reception for “Houstonians with Positive Exposure,” which featured photos of local individuals with genetic differences and disabilities at the Nicole Longnecker Gallery in February 2014. The Houston JFS on Monday was named one of five recipients of the third annual Ruderman Prize in Inclusion. Credit: Meredith Segal.

( The Ruderman Family Foundation on Monday announced the recipients of its third annual $250,000 Ruderman Prize in Inclusion, which “honors organizations worldwide who operate innovative programs and provide services that foster the full inclusion of people with disabilities in their local Jewish community.”

This year’s five winners, who will each receive $50,000, are Jewish Vocational Service (JVS) of Toronto, JewishCare Big Brother Big Sister of Sydney, Australia, Bar-Ilan University of Israel, Jewish Family Services of Houston, and the St. Paul Jewish Community Center of Minnesota.

“By recognizing our passion and commitment for including people with disabilities in our programs, the prize provides huge encouragement to continue our groundbreaking work,” JewishCare CEO Claire Vernon said. 

Lorie Shekter-Wolfson, president & CEO of JVS Toronto, called the award “a special recognition for the staff who work with [our] students every day and who make the world a better place for them.”

“It is our hope that these awards will inspire Jewish organizations around the world to embrace the inclusion of people with all abilities in our community,” said Jay Ruderman, president of the Ruderman Family Foundation, which is headquartered in Boston and Israel.

Posted on July 14, 2014 .