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Inclusion & Accessibility

Congregation Dorshei Tzedek is dedicated to creating a caring and inclusive community. We affirm the idea that every human being is created b’tzelem Elohim, “in God’s image,” and is thus deserving of care and respect.  

If you have feedback or questions about our inclusion work, or would like to be involved in our Inclusion Committee, please email office@dorsheitzedek.org.

     • Physical access to our prayer, school, and event spaces

               • Second Church of Newton: Shabbat and holiday services, meetings, main office

               • FUUSN: Tuesday Religious School, Sukkot, Chanukah, and Purim parties

               • JCDS: Sunday Religious School, Sunday morning adult education

     • Accommodations at services and events

     • Inclusion at our Religious School


 

Physical access to our prayer, school, and event spaces

Physical access to the Second Church of Newton, 60 Highland Street
     Shabbat and holiday services, meetings, main office

•  There is a wheelchair accessible entrance from the Chestnut St. parking lot. The address for this lot is 61 Chestnut St, Newton, MA 02465. When approaching this lot from the street, look for the sign that says "Second Church of Newton." Please speak to us at least a day in advance if you plan to use this entrance, so that we can unlock it. You can reach us Monday through Friday, from 9am-5pm, at 617-965-0330 or office@dorsheitzedek.org.

•  There are handicapped parking spaces in the Chestnut St. and Highland St. parking lots.

•  There is an elevator at the back of the Fellowship Hall (big room) on the first floor, which leads directly into Dorshei Tzedek's sanctuary on the second floor. A ramp onto the bima is available upon request.

•  Our kiddush space, administrative offices, and some of our meeting spaces are on the main floor, which is fully accessible. Our second floor meeting space and Rabbi Toba's office are are down a half flight of stairs. Rabbi Toba is happy to meet with people in other locations. 

     Restrooms

•  The women's restroom and single stall men's restroom on the first floor are accessible.

•  There is a single stall all-gender restroom on the second floor, down half a flight of steps.

Physical Access to FUUSN, 1326 Washington Street
     Tuesday Religious School, Sukkot, Chanukah, and Purim celebrations

•  There is a small parking lot on Highland Street which is reserved for those with mobility needs. The main entrance to FUUSN is through this parking lot - go through the gate, and follow the short path around the corner. There are no steps at this entrance.

•  Our Sukkot, Chanukah, and Purim celebrations take place mostly on the first floor, which is fully accessible. Some workshops for Sukkot and Chanukah, as well as Religious School classes, take place in the basement or second floor. We regret that there is no elevator in this building.

     Restrooms

• There are accessible restrooms on the first, in the hallway past the Parish Hall. All restrooms at FUUSN are all-gender and multi-stall, and have modesty strips to cover gaps in stall doors.

Physical Access to JCDS, 57 Stanley Ave, Watertown
     Sunday Religious School, Sunday morning adult education

• The parking lot closest to the main entrance is reserved for those with mobility needs. The building has one floor and there are no steps to access the building or inside. 

     Restrooms

• All restrooms at JCDS are fully accessible. There are men's and women's multi-stall bathrooms in the hallway across from the beit midrash, and a men's bathroom between the cafeteria and gym. There are single-stall, all-gender bathrooms near the preschool classroom and behind the kitchen. During CDT events, we designate an additional multi-stall bathroom between the cafeteria and gym as all-gender.


 

We offer the following accommodations at our programs and events


     • Large print siddurim (prayer books) for Shabbat Morning Services
     • Braille siddurim (prayer books) are available for Shabbat Morning Services
     • Bima ramp available upon request
     • Fidget objects are available in our sanctuary for anyone who wishes to use them
     • Reading glasses and magnifying lenses are available in our sanctuary
     • Designated quiet rooms at our High Holiday, Chanukah, and Purim celebrations
     • Bench in our sanctuary for those who need to lie down during services

To request additional accommodations, please email office@dorsheitzedek.org.


 

Inclusion at our Religious School

As a congregation, Dorshei Tzedek is committed to creating an inclusive environment that provides access for everyone in our community. This extends to our religious school, where we work hard to create an environment where every student can succeed, regardless of their socio-emotional, behavioral or academic learning needs.

Inclusion Coordinator

In addition to the support of Earnest Vener, our Director of Congregational Learning, and all of the student’s teachers, the school has an inclusion coordinator specifically focused on addressing students' learning and inclusion needs. Amira Shulman-Kumin, our inclusion coordinator, is available to meet with teachers and families, coordinate with schools and support students individually during school hours.

Assistant Teachers and Madrichimot

Every class in our school has at least one assistant teacher (college age student) or madricheh (high schooler). These assistants are trained and supervised by Earnest Vener and the inclusion coordinator and provided specific training on supporting students with disabilities and unique learning needs in the classroom. In some cases we have individual aides for specific students that need a designated person working with them throughout their day at school.

Teacher Training

Every teacher receives inclusion specific training at the beginning of the year and checks in with the inclusion coordinator throughout the year. This training includes instruction on planning inclusive lessons, supporting the teaching assistants in their work with students, implementing effective behavior plans and teaching Hebrew reading to students with learning disabilities.

Alternate Programming

When we are unable to meet the needs of a student in our program, we work closely with external options to support the student in their Jewish learning. In the past this has included sending students to Temple Israel for small group Hebrew instruction and to Gateways for their learning programs. In most cases these students are still able to participate in our Sunday School program, going to Gateways or elsewhere instead of our Tuesday program, which allows them to remain a member of the school and their cohort.

For more information, please contact Inclusion Coordinator Amira Shulman-Kumin (inclusion@dorsheitzedek.org) or Director for Congregational Learning Earnest Vener (e.vener@dorsheitzedek.org).

Wed, July 8 2020 16 Tammuz 5780