When the staff at Alpha Resource Center of Santa Barbara began bringing Alpha members to Suzy Kaufer’s “Cardio Dance for All” class at the Bronfman Family Jewish Community Center, they were thrilled by the warm embrace they received from Suzy and the class participants. On Monday, July 11, at 11:30 a.m., right after the cardio class, Alpha Resource Center will present their “Imagine a World” Award to Suzy. This award recognizes community organizations and individuals who embody their vision of a world where everyone is treated with dignity and respect.
Marisa Pasquini, Outreach Coordinator explained, “Alpha Resource Center has been creating inclusive community programs for people with developmental disabilities for years. It was not long ago that people with disabilities were not welcome in the community. We credit our success in this area to the wonderful people who value a community where all people are welcomed and treated with respect. We are grateful for Suzy, her class, and the Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara for making it possible for people with special needs to just be people in our community.”
Suzy has been a volunteer instructor at the Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara (JFGSB) since May of 2009. The Federation provides a wide variety of activities free of charge to the community, paid for by donations and led by volunteer instructors. JFGSB raises and distributes funds to support the needs of the local community and is devoted to providing rescue and relief around the world. The Federation is open to all.
Suzy said, “I am thrilled to receive this acknowledgement and grateful to every participant and supporter who has helped create this inclusive environment, and to the Jewish Federation for supporting this class. It has been my honor and privilege to include the wonderful participants from the Alpha community; they have become like family to us. In keeping with the mission of the Federation, I am happy to promote positive relationships between the Jewish community and the community at large. Dance is a universal language which crosses all boundaries of age, religion or abilities, and Cardio Dance for All has become a safe and welcoming haven.”