As I exited the Kingston Avenue subway station on a lovely fall morning, I had to ask myself: What was I doing here?

I’m a Reform Jew, the mother of a healthy 28-year-old son. What accident of fate made me part of the Ruderman Chabad Inclusion Initiative, a group committed to inclusion for people with disabilities at every level of Chabad life?

No, wait. It’s a given in Chabad circles that there are no “accidents.” I think about these events in my own life . . .

My best friend has just given birth, but something’s “not right” with her son. Eventually she receives a diagnosis: cerebral palsy. He will never roll over, sit up, walk or speak. Never feed, toilet or bathe himself.

A year later, another friend’s son is diagnosed with autism; this boy has extreme behavioral issues and cannot speak.

The son of yet another friend has severe learning disabilities.

A friend’s daughter has dysgraphia. Will she succeed in school? How?

I may not be able to understand why these things happen, but I don’t really need to. All I need to do is know that we all live in the same world, and it is incumbent upon us to make our family, work and community circles as large as possible. To reach out to those who are “different.” To make the world more inclusive for people with disabilities.

How do we do this?

“How” is the core work of the Ruderman Chabad Inclusion Initiative. The RCII team is asking people with and without disabilities, and experts in Chassidus, disability rights, inclusion issues, special education, mental health, physical therapy and more to look at the status quo throughout the Chabad universe and see how we can make our world more inclusive for people with disabilities.

I admit that I was surprised when I was invited to be a member of the RCII team. I have no special insight into disability issues. But as a professional writer and grants administrator, I have the opportunity to use my talents and abilities to help make the world a more welcoming place for all of us—those of us with disabilities and those of us without.

In my life’s work, I’m not going to find a cure for cerebral palsy. I’m not going to invent a computer program that will teach people with Autism Spectrum Disorders to interact with others. I’m not going to restore the hearing of a deaf person.

I’m going to write reports, create budgets, edit articles, record meeting notes and deal with the minutiae of RCII during the four-year grant. This kind of nitty-gritty, down-in-the-trenches work may not sound like much to you. But it’s a necessary part of the team’s process. I’d like to think that these efforts will have a major and positive influence on the lives of people with and without disabilities, both inside and outside of Chabad.

And although I’d love to quote a great chassidic master, I’m going to call on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., instead:

“If I cannot do great things, let me do small things in a great way.”