Blind Musician & Disability Advocate Charlie Kramer At Adath For JDAIM

Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month is a national effort during the month of February to unite Jewish communities worldwide to raise awareness and champion the rights of all Jews to be accepted and included in all aspects of Jewish and community life like anyone else. This year, Adath Jeshurun’s Inclusion Committee is spearheading an Artist-In-Residence for the weekend, welcoming musician and coach Charlie Kramer, in partnership with Minneapolis Jewish Federation and Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Minneapolis.

“We have been planning for this weekend since 2020,” said Hazzan Joanna Dulkin with relief. “I can’t believe this weekend is finally coming to fruition.” She and Kramer initially met at Songleader Boot Camp, a national Jewish leadership conference where they both served as faculty. That was where Dulkin first experienced Kramer’s marquee event, Singing in the Dark. She decided that the Twin Cities community needed to experience it someday. “Charlie is an important presence in the Jewish Music world right now. He is able to connect with adults, children and teens through his fresh and authentic voice.”

An international touring speaker, performer and musical artist, Charlie Kramer has traveled across North America, Israel, and Australia sharing his talent and powerful message. Charlie is legally blind with only 4 percent of his total vision remaining has no peripheral vision and is completely blind at night. He utilizes his blindness as a tool to educate people on the importance of inclusion, equality and radical self-acceptance. He was recently featured in USA Today’s StoryTelling Project. As a life coach for the Disabled, Charlie guides his clients to gain vital self-advocacy skills, independence, and acceptance and helps them to effectively accomplish their relationship and career goals.

Schedule of Events:
All events will take place at Adath Jeshurun Congregation,
10500 Hillside Lane West, Minnetonka MN 55305

Friday, Feb. 3rd, Noon-1 p.m.
Twin Cities Jewish Professionals are invited to join us for a community workshop, Equity and Inclusion Policies and Practices for the Thriving Jewish Organization. Please bring your own dairy lunch. Please RSVP to [email protected] or [email protected]

Being an inclusive community does NOT need to be complicated. It all starts with how you interact with Disabled, BIPOC, LGBTQ+ and other marginalized groups in your community. In this session, Charlie will simplify the “do’s and don’ts” of DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) so your community can create a space where everyone is welcome, not just through policy, but also through practice. Participants will learn about game-changing policies, practices, and mindset shifts that can make their spaces more inclusive for all.

Friday Night, Feb 3, 6 p.m.
Charlie will join the Adath Clergy prayer team for a spiritually invigorating, musical Kabbalat Shabbat service. He will begin to share his Torah of Disability Inclusion through a short teaching and original musical compositions.

Saturday morning Feb 4, 9:30 a.m.
The conversation continues on Shabbat morning. Charlie will deliver the D’var Torah (Sermon) from the Bima, incorporating his personal story, music and Jewish wisdom into his message. After services we will enjoy a festive Kiddush Luncheon and Charlie will facilitate an informal Q and A for anyone who would like to continue the conversation.

Saturday evening Feb. 4, 7 p.m.: Singing in the Dark
Join Charlie for a transformative and moving evening, beginning with Havdalah and unfolding as a journey of the senses. As Charlie teaches, “we all have something that challenges us. Come prepared to deeply feel the challenges in your life, and to sing them into prayer.” We will blindfold ourselves to experience the present moment without our sight. Seating is limited for this event, and RSVPs are required to reserve a spot.

Not quite a concert, not quite a service, this experience is a journey of the senses, blindfolding ourselves to experience the present moment without our sight. The evening will include Havdalah. Seating for this free event is limited, and registration is required on Adath’s website.