Formed in 1985, the Council was created to meet the special needs of children and adults with disabilities who were unable to participate in typical activities of Jewish life in greater Phoenix. All of the programs and services are collaborative efforts with existing Jewish schools (all ages), camps, youth groups, congregations, agencies and organizations. The Council often partners with non-Jewish and secular groups to host speakers, workshops and training sessions. Information and referral is available to anyone in the community.The original programs for special education assistance and summer camp inclusion resources were followed by support groups for parents, grandparents and sibling and an active disability awareness outreach and sign language interpreters in Jewish settings.
Over the years, the Council added social groups and continuing Jewish studies for teens and adults with moderate to severe disabilities, educational forums on disability related topics, and two Jewish group homes for adults with developmental disabilities. Simchat Shabbat, a Sabbath morning service tailored to the unique needs of children and adults with disabilities, is a monthly service sponsored by the Council and Congregation Beth Israel.