We are Inclusive

//We are Inclusive
We are Inclusive 2018-02-09T20:50:34+00:00

Welcome!   We strive to offer an inclusive and welcoming environment at “The Emanuel,” open to people of all backgrounds.  A religious “bill of rights” is an integral part of our synagogue by-laws, and Jews by choice are embraced.

“ . . . for My house shall be called a house of prayer for all people”
(Isaiah 56:7)

We fully support the participation of those wishing to nourish a Jewish family identity. The Emanuel clergy and congregants greatly appreciate the role of spouses and partners of different backgrounds, and make efforts to warmly include them in the synagogue community.

  • School-age children of intermarried couples are welcome in our religious school, and the non-Jewish parent is encouraged to participate. To become a Bar/Bat Mitzvah at The Emanuel, children must have a Jewish mother or have had a traditional conversion. Rabbi Small welcomes discussion about conversion.
  • Adult children, grandchildren and descendants of intermarried families are welcomed here, and  encouraged to take active roles in life cycle events, synagogue programs, as well as receive pastoral support from our clergy.

Singles and single parent families: Our synagogue community welcomes singles, both with and without children.

Same Gender Wedding in our Sanctuary.

LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning) Friendly  We welcome people of all sexual orientations.  Click here for our LGBTQ equality statement

Family-Friendly Congregation Parents may bring children into the sanctuary. Changing tables are provided in both the women’s and men’s restrooms.

Children and adults with special needs  The Emanuel supports an environment for both children and adults with special needs. An example of this is our award-winning resource room is a key component of our religious school.

Physically challenged   We aim to provide full access for All and making efforts to remove obstacles to participation, as described in our commitment to the Ruderman Inclusion Initiative below:

Ruderman Inclusion Initiative

(L) Nancy Fichman, grant committee chair, (R) Mr. Jay Ruderman, founder, Ruderman Family Inclusion Action Community Grant. USCJ NYC conference Feb. 2015.

The Emanuel Synagogue was selected to participate in the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism Ruderman Synagogue Inclusion Project (RSIP) to develop and implement greater inclusion in all aspects of synagogue life

As part of a select group of 16 kehillot, we were encouraged to work together, in order to positively impact ALL. Committed to nurturing an Inclusive community for members, lay leadership and clergy, our goal is to enable 100% of our membership to productively participate in all religious, educational, and social aspects of the synagogue community. In order to achieve this we will:

1. Through both formal and informal surveys and other appropriate research methods we strive to learn what members need in order to be fully included in all facets of synagogue life.

2. Serve as advocates for synagogue members’ needs by bringing survey results to the appropriate synagogue leaders, and assisting with implementing accommodations when appropriate.

3. Educate and update synagogue members on all availabile synagogue support tools.

Beth Katten, Emanuel Synagogue member and Librarian (pictured Left with Rabbi Small,  USCJ conference, Schaumberg IL, Nov.16, 2015)  chairs the The Emanuel Inclusion Committee, working with USCJ to develop a comprehensive inclusion vision and action plan for the congregation.

Ten Commandments of Inclusion

Inclusion and Access at The Emanuel Synagogue:
My house shall be a house of worship for all people” (Isaiah 7:2)

 We will create a supportive and accepting environment at The Emanuel Synagogue to fully include all members in our synagogue.

In keeping with this commitment, we offer:

• Priority handicapped parking spaces in our main parking lot
• Curb cuts and ramps for wheelchairs, walkers and strollers in the front entrance and level access in our back entrance
• Powered doors at front and back entrances
• Priority seating space in the Main Sanctuary for people with wheelchairs, walkers or strollers
• Level access in our main lobbies, corridors, Sanctuary, Social Halls and patios
• A permanent ramp adjacent to the Main Sanctuary bimah (stage) allowing access for wheelchairs and walkers
• Wheelchair-accessible restrooms on the main level
• Changing tables in women’s and men’s restrooms
• State-of-the-art sound system in the main sanctuary and auditoriums
• Headsets for the hearing impaired
• Large print prayer books available in the Main Sanctuary and Chapel
• Upgraded lighting
• Open seating to allows congregants to find the best spot for participation and engagement .

Access ramp to bimah for wheelchairs and strollers.

Need Assistance? Just ask our ushers and greeters, they are here to help!

Questions?   Please Email  Beth Katten, Chairperson of the Inclusion Committee