February is Jewish Disability Awareness, Acceptance & Inclusion Month (JDAIM), a unified effort among Jewish organizations worldwide to raise awareness and foster acceptance and inclusion of people with disabilities and mental health conditions and those who love them.

In honour of JDAIM, community partners joined together to create a 2nd annual multigenerational art exhibition in honour of JDAIM “From Strength to Strength” on Wednesday, February 15th, 2023 at 2pm – 3pm & 5pm – 7pm. For details, click here.

 This year we highlight Cummings Centre participants Yvonne and Mini’s work.

Gaining strength and insight through self-expression

The opportunity to contribute to the JDAIM vernissage gives me a sense of relief and left me feeling ecstatic as it gave me the opportunity to share my poetry. Throughout my lifetime, I was never able to express my thoughts and emotions because I buried it deep within me and lived in denial. On many occasions, I had the opportunity to tell my story but realized there were so many layers, therefore, making it challenging for it to be told. While I started my journey with dialysis, I began to write poetry to explore my thoughts and the layers that are embedded in my story. By doing so, allowed me to have enough words to leave my world of denial and gain insight on my experiences.

The poem titled “Mother” describes the nature of the relationship I maintained with my mother and my role as a mother. I embodied the  role of a mother figure for those around me, towards my nieces and nephew, my son and the men I dated. This work is one of my first honest and out-of-denial pieces I have worked on and allowed me to explore the many layers of my experience. -Yvonne

Photography is my art, perceived through camera lenses each has its own distinct perspective and story. -Mini

The Cummings Centre’s mission is to empower and enhance the quality of life of adults age 50 and over by providing dynamic and innovative programs, social services, and volunteer opportunities in a vibrant, respectful, inclusive and compassionate environment. Building on its Jewish heritage, Cummings embraces people from all ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds.

As the hub of Montreal’s 50+ community, the Centre touches the lives of 10,000 people on an annual basis. In addition to its main campus at 5700 Westbury Avenue in Montreal, programs are offered at several off-site locations including the West Island, Cote Saint-Luc and online.

For more information, please contact us by phone at 514-343-3510, online at www.cummingscentre.org or in person at 5700 Westbury Avenue.