Have you met anyone as rare as Emily?

Emily is one of only four people in Australia with familial dysautonomia, a rare disabling genetic disorder found primarily in the Jewish population.

What makes Emily’s story truly special is her desire to connect young people of all abilities. She’s found that opportunity thanks to your support of JCA.

Through a friend of her mum’s, Emily heard about the Maccabi NSW All Abilities Program – a program supported by our community that helps Jewish youth develop important values by promoting inclusion for all. She contacted them and joined up as a participant and a member of the team, helping with social media work and administration and handling registrations for the weekly dance class she participates in.

“It’s a great way for me, as a person with a disability, to connect with other people and make more friends.”

In addition to forming life-long friendships, Emily also see it as an important way of building better understanding across the community.

“It encourages younger people to be more involved and to work with people who have disabilities – to see what it’s like for kids living with disabilities and the hardships they face and the difficulties they endure.”

Thanks to your support, the Maccabi All Abilities program makes a difference in the lives of some 250 individuals and family members in our community. And in 2019, more than 200 Jewish school students attended the  Educate through Experience  program to promote broader inclusion.

The Maccabi program is just one of the vital services provided by JCA member organisations, including JewishCare and our Jewish Day Schools, that support individuals with special needs and their families. On behalf of Emily and so many others, thank you for your generosity that makes these programs possible.

Emily’s experience is a reminder that, on a very personal level, your support of JCA helps fund the programs that make such a difference to so many individuals and families in our community. We are truly grateful for your support.