Shelly Christensen, a pioneer in the faith community disability inclusion movement, is an international speaker, author and consultant. Her new book is From Longing to Belonging--A Practical Guide to Including People with Disabilities and Mental Health Conditions in Your Faith Community.
Shelly co-founded Jewish Disability Awareness, Acceptance and Inclusion Month (JDAIM) and serves as its organizer. She directed the award-winning Jewish Community Inclusion Program for People with Disabilities in Minneapolis for 13 years before founding her consulting group, Inclusion Innovations. Shelly has contributed to many Jewish inclusion initiatives including the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, Union for Reform Judaism, Yachad, the Ruderman Chabad Inclusion Initiative, Jewish Federations of North America, and the Jewish Leadership Institute on Disabilities and Inclusion.
Shelly believes that people with disabilities and mental health conditions, and those who love them, want what anyone else wants — to belong, to contribute, and to be a valued member of their Jewish community. Shelly lives in Minneapolis with her husband, Rick. They have three sons, one of whom lives with a disability.
With insight, passion, and humor, Shelly provides pathways that encourage all Jewish organizations to move from longing to belonging.