Inclusion Committee

Congregation Bonai Shalom is a diverse and inclusive congregation.  We welcome and strive to accommodate all people.

Bonai Shalom established an Inclusion Committee in 2013 to focus on ensuring that we are accessible to people with varying abilities, that we are welcoming to all, and that we welcome diversity and the LGBTQ community.

Inclusion Committee Mission:  Assure that all members of Bonai Shalom are able to participate fully in all spiritual, educational, celebratory and life events at the synagogue.

Inclusion Committee Vision:  A community where all members share a sense of dignity, empathy and togetherness; where inclusion is the framework around which congregation activities are centered.

We want to hear from you.  We want to know your requests, needs, or concerns.  And we are always looking for additional help towards our mission.  Contact inclusion@bonaishalom.org

In 2015, the committee accomplished the following:

  1. Developed and distributed a Boulder Jewish Inclusion Survey.
  2. Analyzed results of the survey, and made them available to interested individuals.
  3. Held a “Community Conversation” with other Boulder congregations in August to review the results of the survey, and got additional feedback on the needs of the community.
  4. Purchased visual page number cards for use during services. These are used in the children’s services.
  5. Purchased supportive chairs for use in the social hall for any individuals who need supportive chairs for comfort.

 

In 2016, the committee accomplished the following:

  1. Sponsored a Scholar-in-Residence weekend with E.J. Cohen in February, as part of Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion month. She engaged our community in learning sign language for songs and prayers and presented a workshop on signing in Jewish settings. She also worked with all the students in the religious school.
  2. Sponsored “Family Fourth Fridays” throughout the year, where people are free to express themselves through music and movement. These special Shabbat programs, held generally once per month, are geared towards families with children 0 – 5 years old. They have put together their own “siddur” (photocopied sheets).  The focus is on movement, storytelling, and music.
  3. Offered an ASL interpreter for parts of the High Holy Day services for hard-of-hearing members.
  4. Used visual page numbers as an aid in the youth services for grades 3 – 5, held on the first and third Shabbat of each month when religious school is in session.
  5. Applied for and received a $2,600 Anything Grant through JEWISHColorado for the purpose of installing a Loop System in the sanctuary. This will be installed in 2017.

In 2017, look forward to the following:

  1. Raise funds to add to our JEWISHColorado Anything grant for the purpose of installing a Loop System in our Sanctuary. Hearing Loops allow hard-of-hearing people to directly receive the sound from our sound system using either their hearing aids or our loop receiver.   The loop allows them to hear what is said directly through the sound system with much better clarity.
  2. Continue to sponsor “Family Fourth Fridays” throughout the year, where people are free to express themselves through music and movement. These special Shabbat programs, held generally once per month, are geared towards families with children 0 – 5 years old. The short, interactive service, using an easy–to-follow “siddur” developed by them, focuses on movement, storytelling, and music.
  3. Develop a quiet, safe area downstairs in the library, into which sound generated from the sanctuary will be piped. This allows nursing mothers, toddlers or sound-sensitive people to experience religious services or other programs in a safe environment.
  4. Offer a Scholar-in-Residence weekend program focusing on addiction issues within a Jewish community.
  5. Offer an ASL Interpreter for occasional Shabbat services.
  6. Co-Sponsor a program for Jewish Disability and Inclusion Month (February) with Susan Glairon and Chabad @CU featuring Rabbi Taub, a Chabad rabbi nationally known for his addiction work.

Pride-image_FINAL-500x500

 

Statement of LGBTQ Inclusion and Welcome at Bonai Shalom:

Congregation Bonai Shalom is an open, affirming and diverse community that values difference and individuality. Among our members and guests we welcome gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning Jews and non-Jews. Our programming has included Friday night dinner and conversation with Keshet’s Rafi Daugherty, who shared his transgender journey, and a scholar-in-residence weekend with Rabbi Steve Greenberg.  We are proud co-sponsors of Keshet’s Queer Seder.