Two Little Words to Change a Life

Every once in a while, a speaker at a conference will ask, “Who here has a friend or family member with a disability?” (Has this happened to you?) Well, perhaps needless to say, every hand goes up, almost every single time.

Disability affects every one of us, inside the Jewish world and out. So what do we do with that?

Two little words can get us started: “yes, and.” It’s the central tenet of improv comedy, and a surprisingly Jewish idea.

Comedian, Jewish educator, and inclusion advocate Pam Schuller explains:

Pam was once diagnosed with the worst case of Tourette’s in America. Not only did she struggle with her disability, her symptoms nearly got her ejected from the Jewish community entirely. She shares her story with wit, humor, and wisdom.

So take thirteen minutes to laugh and learn. Then share this talk with a friend or family member. Because we all know someone with a disability, or have one ourselves. That’s our community, and we need to say – and deserve to hear – “yes, and.”

(You can find out more about Pam and her work here.)

About the Author
Miriam Brosseau is Program Director of ELI Talks and Director of Engagement with See3 Communications. Jewish professional by day, Jewish rock star by night, she is also half of the "biblegum pop" duo Stereo Sinai. Miriam is member of the ROI Community and was selected for The Jewish Week's "36 Under 36" feature in 2012. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and son.
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