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In 2008, Beth El's Inclusion Committee was created with the following goals:

  • To remove or mitigate physical barriers in our building and grounds;
  • to educate our congregation and, in particular, our religious school students on the inclusion of those with disabilities and other challenges; and ultimately,
  • to welcome all who come through our doors so that they can participate in worship and other activities to the full extent that they desire regardless of their special needs.

Our Vision

Abraham welcomed the stranger into his tent, Beth El welcomes all people with warmth, respect and understanding. For those with physical, cognitive, emotional, or behavioral challenges who require special accommodations to enable their full participation in any aspect of community or religious life, Beth El makes a good faith effort to remove barriers.

Our Mission

The mission of the Inclusion Committee is to facilitate the accommodation and appreciation of individual differences, so that all members of the temple community, regardless of physical, cognitive, emotional, or behavioral ability, can participate in all religious, educational, and life cycle events and acts of loving kindness to all humanity.

 

What We Do

We work with Beth El's lay leadership, clergy, and Executive Director to find ways to eliminate barriers and enhance our building and programs so that they are accessible and welcoming to all. Please go to the Beth El website's front page, then click on "About," and then click on "Accessibility" to learn more about the accommodations that are currently available.

We ensure that Jewish Disabilities Awareness Month is celebrated each year with a special worship service and/or speaker, and we suggest ideas for special awareness activities to be held in the Religious School.

We plan special programs including speakers, films, and workshops to promote awareness of special needs and inclusive strategies.

We continue to identify needs of our Congregation and promote inclusiveness.

 

Next Steps

What are priority issues for inclusion at Beth El? What are our congregation’s needs—awareness, building & grounds, materials, programs? Would you like to share ideas, gather information, and work for a better, more inclusive future? We would love to hear from you. For more information, please contact: Inclusion Committee Chair Jeanne Holden

 

 

Rabbi Lauren Tuchman, the first blind female rabbi, did a weekend Shabbaton in 2019 on building an inclusive Jewish community

 

Beth El sponsors the annual Northern Virginia ReelAbilities Film Festival and always has a sneak preview

 

 

Sun, September 15 2019 15 Elul 5779