Shuls are perhaps the most key aspects of Jewish communal life, providing a home for B’nei Mitzvot, celebrations, educational programming, and formative youth events. It’s crucial, then, that Shuls provide a space in which every member of its community can participate and feel like he/she belongs.
Ask these questions and consider whether or not your Shul provides a suitable space for those with disabilities.
- Are the aisles too narrow, preventing access for an individual using a wheelchair?
- Is it possible for a person with physical limitations to receive an Aliyah or open the Ark?
- Are large-print Siddurim and/or audio devices available for those with vision impairments/hearing impairments?
- Does the Shul provide a quiet, stress-free space for someone who might become overwhelmed by loud noises and many people?
While many factors exist that make it challenging for a Shul to ensure that it provides a home for all its congregants, it’s important to recognize how much more authentic and vibrant our communal life would be if it offered such a space and begin working towards making it a reality.
Check out this eye-opening article about the importance of accessible Shuls!
I CONSIDERED WAYS TO MAKE MY SHUL MORE INCLUSIVE
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