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May 23, 2015

Rabbi Lynne Landsberg to receive the Thornburgh Family Award

The Interfaith Disability Advocacy Coalition, a program of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), will present the Thornburgh Family Award to Rabbi Lynne F. Landsberg in recognition of her years of service on behalf of people with disabilities. Rabbi Landsberg will receive the award at an interfaith service at First Trinity Lutheran Church, Washington, D.C., July 26, 2015, the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), by President George H.W. Bush.

Established by AAPD this year during the 25th anniversary year of the ADA, the Thornburgh Family Award recognizes a religious leader who exemplifies the spirit of the ADA as demonstrated by Dick and Ginny Thornburgh’s efforts to expand opportunities for people with disabilities.

"AAPD could not think of a better way to honor and recognize Dick's and Ginny's tireless advocacy on behalf of all Americans with disabilities than with the establishment of the Thornburgh Family Award," said Helena Berger, AAPD's Acting President and CEO. "And we are thrilled to present the inaugural award to Rabbi Landsberg. Her passion and commitment to creating inclusive places of worship has ensured more people with disabilities are getting an opportunity to worship and participate in congregational activities that are welcoming and accessible."

As U.S. Attorney General, Dick Thornburgh was tapped by President George H.W. Bush to negotiate with Congress over legislation that became the ADA. Prior to his service as attorney general, he served two terms as governor of Pennsylvania. Ginny Thornburgh, a long-time advocate for people with disabilities first in Pennsylvania, then nationally and globally, most recently served as Director of AAPD’s Interfaith Program. Dick and Ginny are the parents of a son, Peter, a man of faith who has intellectual and physical disabilities.

Rabbi Lynne F. Landsberg is Senior Advisor on Disability Rights for the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism in Washington, DC. She is a co-founder of the Jewish Disability Network, a coalition of national Jewish movements and organizations advocating for civil and human rights for people with disabilities, and founder and co-chair of the Central Conference of American Rabbis’ (CCAR) Committee on Disability Awareness and Inclusion. She is co-founder of Hineinu: Jewish Community for People of All Abilities, a historic and innovative collaboration of the Conservative, Orthodox, Reconstructionist, and Reform Jewish Movements, as well as Chabad, through which disability professionals share resources, support, and direction in order to increase disability inclusion in synagogues for people of all abilities.

“We are delighted to honor Rabbi Landsberg with the Thornburgh Family Award,” said Curtis Ramsey-Lucas, AAPD’s Director of Interfaith Engagement. “Rabbi Landsberg’s advocacy of inclusion of people with disabilities within congregational life has had an enormous impact within and beyond Jewish faith and practice. Her work and witness exemplify the spirit of the ADA as demonstrated by Dick and Ginny Thornburgh’s efforts to expand opportunities for people with disabilities.”

The Thornburgh Family Award will be presented at From Access to Inclusion: An Interfaith Service Celebrating the Progress and Promise of the ADA, July 26, 2015 at First Trinity Lutheran Church, 309 E Street, NW, Washington, DC. Service at 3:00 p.m. with a reception to follow.

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