We welcome our new Ambassador -
Jewish Children’s Aid Society (JCAS) is proud to announce that Donna Cohen has become a JCAS Ambassador.
In 1990, Donna was hit by a young driver after returning to her sister’s home in Toorak following an outing with her niece. She defied her doctors’ prediction that, best case scenario, she would live in a vegetative state and, with the help of her family, friends, a team of carers and years of rehabilitation she re-learned to walk, talk and live a meaningful life.
JCAS President Trevor Cohen said Donna’s appointment as the first JCAS Ambassador is “fitting” given the “strength, resilience and determination” she has shown in tackling her challenges physically and mentally. “The aim of our organisation is to foster an inclusive and accessible environment in our
day schools and Donna symbolises these goals”.
Her appointment comes after more than 20 years of service as a volunteer at the Posh Opp Shoppe, which is one of JCAS’ main fundraising avenues. Donna is also a regular on the speaking circuit, sharing her cautionary tale with high school students as they embark on the journey of becoming probationary drivers.
“JCAS touches nearly every classroom of every Jewish school … in doing so, it educates everybody in the class about the importance of acceptance and inclusion for all children,” Donna said.
“I hope that by giving some sense of what it is like to have my challenges and how I have attained a real strength, happiness and meaning by finding my place in society, people might want to help others find their strength, happiness and meaning through inclusion and acceptance of children with extra needs”.
Our goal at JCAS is supporting the Melbourne Jewish Day Schools to include students with a disability into their mainstream classrooms. The feeling of belonging and inclusion into the community is paramount to success for the child with disabilities and their family.
We strongly believe that every Jewish child has a right to a Jewish education regardless of their special needs. In addition, and just as importantly, a whole generation of school children are educated to embrace difference and welcome all Jewish children into the community.