Gateways: Access to Jewish Education

High-quality special education services, expertise, and support enabling students with diverse learning needs to succeed in Jewish educational settings and participate meaningfully in Jewish life 

If “our people” is really going to include all of our people, it’s important to ensure that the gates of Jewish education are open to everyone. Thankfully, Gateways: Access to Jewish Education provides special-education services, expertise, and support to enable students with diverse learning needs to succeed in Jewish educational settings. With the core belief that every child can have a Jewish education, Gateways is elevating the conversation around the inclusion of students with disabilities and is sharing its resources and expertise to create the conditions for sustainable inclusive impact on a larger scale as it prepares to expand outside of Massachusetts. 

Gateways approaches inclusivity from multiple angles—by training teachers, educating students, and preparing young people for Jewish milestones. This year, the recognized thought leader has implemented two new programs: the Center for Professional Learning (CPL) and Ambassadors for Inclusion (AFI). At the CPL, Gateways trains Jewish educators through in-person consultation and coaching, workshops, webinars, curricular material, and online toolkits. AFI is a K to 12 disability awareness program designed to educate neurotypical students about disabilities in order to promote tolerance and support an inclusive Jewish community. Another program, Mitzvah Mensches, is a philanthropy and social-action-based youth group for teens with and without disabilities, and separately more than 60 teens volunteer each year to serve as one-to-one aides or classroom assistants to support children with disabilities. These teens become advocates for inclusion in the broader community, and many of them have gone on to pursue a career in special education. With Gateways’ support, in the past 12 years, 75 students who wouldn’t have otherwise completed their b’nai mitzvah proudly stood on the bimah. Now Gateways is implementing a program to help navigate the social and emotional issues related to attending and celebrating others’ b’nai mitzvah, such as understanding social cues, determining dress,  and managing the perils of public speaking. Although Gateways has its hands full with so many important programs, it’s also making time to hold the hands of the Jewish community and pass on its expertise. It’s creating a stronger, more inclusive Jewish community where we’re all learning more together.

  • Region

    Massachusetts
  • Population Served

    Children Disabilities Educators Teens Women & Girls
  • Program Area(s)

    Disabilities Jewish Education Children Family Social Justice Women & Girls
  • Life Cycle Stage

    Mezzanine
  • Contact

    Arlene Remz
  • Email

    arlener@jgateways.org
  • Phone

    617-630-9010
  • Website

    jgateways.org
  • Twitter

    @gates2jewished
  • Facebook

    gatewaysaccesstojewisheducation
  • Address

    333 Nahanton Street Newton, MA 02459
  • Founded

    2006
  • Board Chair

    Marni Smilow Levitt
  • 2016 Expenses

    $2,800,000

Photo Gallery

Featured in 12 Slingshot Guides

  • '18

  • '17

  • '14-'15

  • '14-'15 Women & Girls Supplement

  • '13-'14 Disabilities & Inclusion Supplement

  • '13-'14

  • '12-'13

  • '11-'12

  • '10-'11

  • '09-'10

  • '08-'09

  • '07-'08