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Emanuel Synagogue Selected for Inclusion Initiative

Emanuel Synagogue. Submitted photo

West Hartford’s Emanuel Synagogue will be working to provide the opportunity for people with disabilities and their families to fully engage in a welcoming, meaningful, caring and inspiring sacred Jewish community.

Emanuel Synagogue. Submitted photo

Emanuel Synagogue. Submitted photo

Submitted by Emanuel Synagogue

The Emanuel Synagogue is selected, along with twelve other leading Jewish congregations in the country, to participate in the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (USCJ) Ruderman Inclusion Action Community, a new leadership initiative to fully allow people with disabilities and their families to participate comfortably in thriving congregational life.

Ira Henowitz, Emanuel Synagogue President, said “We are excited to participate in this new opportunity to continue building on our strong core belief of inclusion and accessibility for all who wish to experience our mission focused, purpose driven Synagogue community. We very much appreciate United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism for launching this initiative and thank the Ruderman Family Foundation for providing the generous grant to make this all possible.”

Rabbi David J. Small, the Congregation’s spiritual leader, looks forward to participating and states, “The Inclusion initiative will help us continue to grow and improve as a highly inclusive kehillah. Our commitment to make the Emanuel an open and engaging place for all people is very strong and has been for many years. We believe in Kevod HaBeriot, upholding the honor and dignity all people and the recognition that each of us is created in the Divine Image. That awareness is the foundation of our community standards and our personal relationships.”

Nancy Fichman, an Emanuel Synagogue member, educator and advocate for people with special needs, will serve as the lead liaison for the community planning and training. Through the grant, USCJ will work with the multi-generational West Hartford congregation to develop a comprehensive vision and action plan on greater inclusion.

The goal is to create a fully accessible Emanuel Synagogue congregation, where everything – from the entryways to all of the building’s most important and sacred spaces, from interactive educational programs to participatory prayer services, from social activities to the very attitudes of congregants and leaders – allow people with disabilities and their families to fully engage in a welcoming, meaningful, caring and inspiring sacred Jewish community.

For more information on The Emanuel Synagogue, please contact Myra Emrick, Synagogue Administrator, at 860 236-1275, [email protected] or visit www.emanuelsynagogue.org. A vibrant, egalitarian Conservative Jewish community, The Emanuel Synagogue empowers its members its members to seek a meaningful and robust path to Jewish values for everyday living. Our down-to-earth ambience is a welcome respite from the social pressures of contemporary American life.

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