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Inclusion at Judea Reform

Judea Reform has always strived to provide a welcoming and supportive environment for all congregants. The recent emphasis on inclusion at JRC has helped to carry this tradition further by striving to give voice to congregants who may have felt marginalized.

The goal of inclusion is for people of all ages and ethnicities, all abilities and special needs, interfaith families, older adults, people of color, LGBTQ individuals and families, and congregants who belong to traditionally under-represented communities within our synagogue, to more fully engage in our religious, educational, cultural, social, and recreational life.

The Inclusion Committee seeks to expand the opportunities for full participation and support through listening to congregants’ needs and advocating for changes to improve accessibility and enhance participation.   The Board of Trustees, clergy, and staff support inclusion as a core value of JRC's mission to welcome all, and synagogue leaders plan, budget, and make decisions with inclusion needs in mind.  To help ensure that inclusion permeates the congregation, there is now a liaison between the Inclusion Committee and each of the other JRC Committees.  Working together, we are continuing to make Judea a more inclusive synagogue.

For more information, please contact Iris Weiss, Inclusion Committee Chair, judeainclusion@gmail.com

 

Selected Accomplishments

  • Revised the JRC Membership Application and Religious School Registration Forms to enable congregants to describe their inclusion-related needs.
  • Provided the religious school faculty with opportunities for professional development on accommodating individual differences.
  • Assigned teaching assistants (madrichim) to children with special needs in the religious school.
  • Provided more detailed descriptions of forthcoming events to help families make decisions about whether activities are appropriate for their children.
  • Renovated the former babysitting room to provide a calm, safe, and welcoming “Family Room” for those who need it during worship services.
  • Improved the quality of sound in the sanctuary.
  • Purchased additional assistive listening devices, large-print and extra-large-print prayer books.
  • Provided an Easy Access Entrance for High Holy Day services, enabling people with limited mobility to enter the synagogue directly into the Levin Social Hall.
  • The JRC membership approved a constitutional amendment to allow non-Jewish members of interfaith families to serve in leadership roles.
  • Programs on holiday “basics” are available to help those who did not learn about Jewish holidays in their youth, or who would like a refresher.
  • Volunteers provide rides to JRC worship services and other synagogue-wide activities to older adults who would otherwise be unable to attend. (For more information on the Rides for Seniors program, click here.)
  • Worship services are now streamed so they can be viewed remotely.
Tue, October 23 2018 14 Cheshvan 5779