Areas of Inclusion: Adults in Communal Life, Advocacy & Community Partnerships, Architectural & Physical Accommodations and Transportation, B’nai Mitzvah, Deafness, General Inclusion, Religious School, and Worship
About the Congregation
7301 Park Heights Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21208
Number of Congregants: 1,250
Carol Caplan, Chair, BHC Cares Committee
Does this congregation have an inclusion committee?
Developing Our Program
Interested congregants felt there was a need for inclusionary programs and worked with congregation leadership to develop such programs.
Number of people involved in the effort: 150
Involving People with Disabilities
Congregants were invited to participate in the committee to develop policy and programs.
Funding This Effort
Funding comes from the general budget as well as donor restricted funds and one-time gifts.
Helpful Agencies & Organizations
We work with congregants who have expertise with inclusion of people with disabilities. We have also consulted with the URJ and Jewish Community Services of Baltimore.
List of Helpful Agencies & Organizations
Spreading Awareness About Our Work
Our congregational bulletin, website, email communication, mailings, direct personal contact, and inclusion in Baltimore Jewish Community publications all contribute to publicizing our efforts.
Process & Sharing
Marketing Documents Indicating Our Commitment to Inclusion
History, Materials & Processes that Guided Our Approach
Leadership has to be part of the policy making for inclusion. The committee needs to include individuals with disabilities and family members, as well as those who have expertise in developing accessible programing. The committee has reviewed other congregational programs and has acted on congregants’ requests for accommodations for individuals with special needs.
Evidence of Successful Inclusion Efforts
Families are having B'nai Mitzvahs for their children with special needs. Our religious school programing is modified for children with special needs. Streaming has made our weekly services accessible to congregants who are physically unable to attend services. The hearing loop has likewise made our services and programs accessible to those with hearing impairments. Periodically, our services are sign interpreted. Individuals with developmental disabilities are invited to Shabbat dinner and services on a periodic basis. Large print prayer books are available for regular and High Holiday services for those with sight impairments. Our library has large print books for circulation as well as a book magnifier. Ramps in and outside the building and automatic doors have made our congregation access-friendly.
Evidence of Changing Attitudes
Our programs have encouraged congregants to assist other congregants and make them welcome. We continue to have awareness programs to foster inclusion. Our educational programs have worked to bridge the gap of misconceptions.
How We're Using and Sharing the Disabilities Inclusion Learning Center
The committee will encourage our leadership and professional staff to use the Disabilities Inclusion Learning Center to assist in understanding and accommodating those with special needs.
Future Inclusion Efforts
As Rabbi Tarfon said, "You are not required to finish your work, yet neither are you permitted to desist from it.”