Accessibility at Beth El 2016

Categories: Community Voices, Inclusion
 

Funny how there are issues which you think are someone else’s problem. Until one day it becomes yours as well. I’ve been aware of some of some of the accessibility problems in our building.  A few months ago, I even recommended an accessibility expert, who came out to do an assessment of our facility.  But…

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Challah Connections

Categories: B-shul, Not a man of words, Religious School
 

Sometimes you aren’t even looking, but you find a recipe that is a keeper.  People are like that, too–you are just doing your job and, BAM, it happens-a spark starts and friendship grows. For many years I have admired the Langer family from afar.  There have been opportunities to connect through our children.  Bea and…

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“Not a man of words”: What Inclusion Looks Like

Categories: Inclusion, Not a man of words, Religious School
 

It’s funny how a thing takes on a life of its own. You may begin a project with one idea in mind, and then something else—something unexpected and better—happens instead. Last month an infographic made its way around social media as part of a disability awareness campaign. Four images (shown above) reflect the differences between…

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“Invisible” disabilities

Categories: Community Voices, Inclusion
 

At a recent inclusion committee meeting, one topic of discussion was “invisible” disability, such as mental illness, in adults. The question was what, if anything, can the synagogue do to help these adults feel more included. How we even get them to identify themselves? There has always been such a stigma around mental illness. However,…

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“Not a man of words”: See me–Hear me–Feel me

Categories: Inclusion, Not a man of words, Religious School
 

When special education teachers work with Martin, they adapt curriculums to help him meet his educational goals. We are trying to take a similar approach to helping Martin fully participate in his Bar Mitzvah service. Jeff and I are not specialists in autism education, but over the years we’ve worked with many speech, occupational, and…

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“Not a man of words”: Back to the Drawing Board

Categories: Inclusion, Not a man of words, Religious School
 

This past month I took Martin to our synagogue’s first All-Religious-School Shabbat service, a family-friendly Friday night Kabbalat Shabbat with songs and class presentations that featured interactive percussion performances. The atmosphere was warm and casual, and the Sufrin sanctuary was nearly full when we arrived more than a few minutes late. I scanned the room,…

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Steam Team Update!

Categories: Inclusion, Religious School
 

This month the Steam Team’s meeting was a Chanukah Extravaganza! In addition to working together to help Martin with his Bar Mitzvah preparation, the Steam Team friends lit the menorah, played with trains (of course!), and topped off the session by making sufganiot with Morah Carole.  Step 1 when making sufganiot? Flour your hands! You can…

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Recent blog posts

Blessings and Milkshakes

Blessings are like a stop sign to remind us to slow down and thank God.  Throughout the year in Bshul (cooking class) students have learned the blessings for every food group.  I introduced the hand-washing blessing, Yadiim, and repeat it at the beginning of every cooking lesson.  This keeps us holy and sanitary! For Shabbat…

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Jenna’s Squad Gets Crafty

Jenna’s Squad got crafty this month!  First they decorated triangle-shaped Rice Krispie Treats for a gluten-free mishloach manot treat (see directions below.)  Then they decorated masks with feathers and gems.   This 7th grade group of girls is all ready for Purim! Ingredients Homemade Rice Krispie Treats cut into triangles Lollipop sticks 15 oz bar of…

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Pareve Hamantaschen Recipe

In Bshul our students learn the basics about kashrut.  Foods such as vegetables, fruit, grains, nuts and fish are considered pareve or neutral.  When baking sweets for a chicken Dinner on Shabbat, margarine or oil is used to keep dairy and meat separate.  My friend Ilene uses Crisco for baking, insisting it makes her pareve…

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