SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ — Congregation Beth Israel has been deemed an ABLE Awarded Synagogue by the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest.
ABLE, which stands for Access, Belonging, and Life Enrichment for People and Families with Special Needs, represents a network of community leaders and professionals who support and advocate for individuals with special needs and their families. Partnering with Greater MetroWest ABLE demonstrates CBI’s commitment to providing an accessible and inclusive environment for all its members and meaningful participation in Jewish life by all its congregants.
“CBI has always strived to be welcoming to all who are interested in being part of our community,” said David Feldman, president of Congregation Beth Israel. “Our designation as an ABLE synagogue further establishes our commitment to this sense of inclusiveness. It also speaks to the dedication and passion of our clergy, professional staff and dedicated volunteers.”
Using Greater MetroWest ABLE’s self-assessment tool as a guide, Congregation Beth Israel’s professional staff, clergy, educators and lay leaders worked to ensure that the synagogue met the criteria in their facilities, worship, religious school and programming. The assessment covered accommodations ranging from having entrance ramps to the building and large print prayer books available in the sanctuary to modeling acceptance and planning for learning differences in the synagogue’s religious school and youth groups.
“Inclusion is the spice that seasons our view of synagogue and Jewish life,” said Gail Beckman Buchbinder, CBI's education director. “By having a mindset of inclusion, everything that we do is automatically influenced by that goal, from classroom activities and student advocates to making services more comfortable and engaging for everyone.”