MetroWest ABLE has announced it is accepting applications for Synagogue ABLE Challenge Grants to promote inclusion in Greater MetroWest synagogue life for individuals and families with special needs. The announcement was made by Mort Bunis of Livingston and Eta Levenson of West Orange, MetroWest ABLE chairs.

MetroWest ABLE, a program of Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ (Federation), coordinates a network of agencies and advocates that serve individuals of all ages with special needs and their families. Greater MetroWest encompasses Essex, Morris, Sussex, Union, and parts of Somerset County.

Open to all Greater MetroWest congregations, the grants can be used for building enhancements, programs, and/or enhanced services for people with special needs and their families that allow them greater accessibility to the synagogue community. Projects are to be completed by June 30, 2014. Examples include: lifts and ramps, listening devices, shadows that allow children with special needs to attend religious school, or professional training and certifications in special needs education for synagogue teachers. 

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To be eligible, synagogue leadership must have completed the “How Inclusive Are We?” synagogue self-assessment tool within the past two years or by the March 22 application deadline. Grants are awarded with an understanding that the congregation is a partner with MetroWest ABLE in providing the services. The synagogue’s contribution may be in-kind; the ABLE contribution per synagogue will be $3,000-$5,000. 

The application deadline is Friday, March 22.

For further information, and for applications and the self-assessment tool, visit or contact Rebecca Wanatick, MetroWest ABLE community coordinator, at (973) 929-3129 or

Synagogue ABLE Challenge Grants are funded by Federation, the Linda Bunis Haller Foundation, and the Ruderman Family Foundation.

Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ stands at the center of a network of partner agencies dedicated to providing comprehensive social services and meeting the educational, vocational, recreational, and social needs of Jews locally, in Israel, and in 70 countries around the world. Responding to emergency and disaster situations around the world is another important part of the Federation mission.