NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Feb 26, 2013) - UJA-Federation of New York believes that synagogue life should be accessible to all and recognizes the importance of increasing opportunities for all people to feel included in the Jewish community. In order to commend exemplary work in the area of synagogue inclusion for those living with disabilities, UJA-Federation's Caring Commission recently announced the recipients of The Synagogue Inclusion Award, an annual award recognizing synagogues' efforts to create a warm, welcoming and inclusive Jewish community for those with disabilities. Winners will use the award money to enhance the services provided to this population and develop new and innovative programming.
Alexandra Roth-Kahn, managing director of UJA-Federation's Caring Commission, said The Synagogue Inclusion Award, which was inaugurated in 2012, is designed to help raise awareness about the physical and perceived barriers erected for those with disabilities within our organizations. "One of the best ways to inspire a passion for Jewish life and build caring communities is to truly open our doors and make sure that no Jew feels like they're outside the Jewish community looking in."
This year's award recipients are: Temple Israel Center (Westchester), Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel of Riverdale (Bronx), and Chabad at Stony Brook (Long Island).
"While each year we honor a few synagogues for their distinguished work, we applaud all New York synagogues who strive to be inclusive, welcoming, and caring by embracing the diverse segments that make up our communities," said Adina Frydman, Executive Director of SYNERGY: UJA-Federation of New York and Synagogues Together.
Each synagogue chosen for the award demonstrates a deep commitment towards welcoming those with disabilities by actively engaging in inclusive practices in numerous aspects of synagogue life, including ritual services, Shabbat, Holidays, youth groups, and Hebrew school. Each synagogue also utilizes a professional with extensive knowledge of disabilities and inclusion to inform their practices, and works in a collaborative manner to share best practices with other synagogues.
To learn more about UJA-Federation's network's programs and services for people with disabilities, please visit: http://www.ujafedny.org/disabilities/
About UJA-Federation of New York
For more than 90 years, UJA-Federation has been a central force for communal planning and philanthropy in the New York Jewish community. Through UJA-Federation, almost 60,000 donors pool their resources to help people in need, inspire a passion for Jewish life and learning, and strengthen Jewish communities around the world -- to address the issues that matter to us most as Jews and as New Yorkers. Working with nearly 100 network beneficiary agencies, synagogues, and other Jewish organizations, our reach spans from New York to Israel to more than 60 other countries around the world, touching 4.5 million people each year. Because we do the most good when we do it together. For more information on how to donate or how to volunteer, please visit our website at http://www.ujafedny.org.