Doug Winkelstein is a Keshet board member, volunteer and donor. In this article, he shares his unique perspective about why he gives to Keshet and why this organization means so much to him.
2022 was an incredible year for Keshet and there is so much to be proud of. But as you know, Keshet is always looking ahead to the future. We came up with a list of 23 things to look forward to with Keshet in 2023.
In the year ahead, I know that there will be hundreds of hundreds of stories that drive us not just to grow but to thrive.
Our office skills group at GADOL, our adult day program, is very excited to share their blog about Hanukkah! Team members spent time researching, collaborating and writing this piece together.
Check out all of our winter and spring recreation program offerings. There is definitely something for everyone!
At Keshet, our programs are designed to provide choice, giving adults with disabilities the same rights, freedom to make their own choices and deserve to have their voices heard just as anyone else. Adults at GADOL have recently joined advocacy groups, where they spend time learning what their rights are and how to express those rights. As a result, our adults have become more equipped to self-advocate and independently make their own choices, allowing them to spend their days exactly how they want to.
This past weekend, my friends and I made the trip up to Camp Chi and Perlstein Retreat Center for the Fall Shabbaton. The Shabbaton is a weekend away for adults within the Keshet community to participate in all kinds of fun activities, celebrate Shabbat and hang out with friends and staff. Although this is only my second time going, I look forward to the Shabbaton every year and this year’s was so much fun.
While each person’s story of how they got involved with Keshet is different, the sense of belonging they feel when they first join our community is what keeps them coming back. Campers return to work as counselors, and many of those counselors eventually work at Keshet as teachers, therapists or even the CEO. Nobody embodies this ultimate, full-circle Keshet story quite like camp counselor Max Stroesser, who has embraced Keshet’s mission from a very young age, and continues to return because of the sense of belonging he feels within our community.
October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, which celebrates the positive contributions of workers with disabilities and inclusive employment policies. As an organization, and with the generous support of two grants, we’ve responded to the challenges surrounding employment head-on, resulting in more opportunities for our adults to grow their skills and find meaningful job opportunities.
“In a short period of time, the Keshet community already feels like home, and I’m so glad that I now get to be a part of it.”
As the new year approaches and I reflect on Keshet’s mission, I know without a shadow of a doubt that we will get there—all communal spaces will be inclusive and welcoming to people with disabilities.
Almost fifty years after her first time going to overnight camp, Michelle is now experiencing what camps are like when they partner with Keshet. She’s finding more than just inclusion; it is true belonging.