Shedding New Light on Jewish Traditions

Inclusion at Or Hadash

An Even More Inclusive Or Hadash

Or Hadash has a long history, literally since its founding, of being an inclusive community.

This is as it should be, and the congregation has always done an excellent job of being inclusive of most people most of the time. However, in 2015, the Board approved the formation of an Inclusion Committee in order to create an even more inclusive Or Hadash.

This year, Reconstructiong Judaism shared our inclusion efforts as a model for other congregations!

The Inclusion Committee incorporates a wide variety of concerns. They include mental, physical, and emotional disabilities; welcoming people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning, and their allies; hearing and vision issues; interfaith couples; and people with concerns about multicultural issues. The common denominator is that these are all concerns that might make a person feel less welcome, less a part of, and less valued in a synagogue. At Or Hadash, we want all people to know that they are completely welcome and can be an integral part of the community.

This committee brings together people who have expertise and interest in various aspects of inclusion to share their wisdom. It also makes inclusion the responsibility of a specific group at OH, just the way that Social Action/Tikkun Olam is the responsibility of a specific committee. The Inclusion Committee works closely with multiple committees (school, spiritual life, building, kitchen, adult ed., etc.), looking at varied facets of congregational life, large and small, and attempting to be proactive, rather than waiting for a problem or complaint. Sometimes, it’s the seemingly little things that go unnoticed except by the people that they affect…and then they aren’t small at all.

All who have an interest in working on inclusion at Or Hadash are invited to join the committee. Those who have personal experience or professional knowledge to share, or just feel moved to help the Or Hadash community continue working towards being its best self should join by contacting Committee Chairperson Shelley Kapnek Rosenberg. Your ideas and your help are most welcome.  To read more about what the Inclusion Committee has been working on, click here.