Breaking News: New Disability-Sensitive High Holiday Service In Brooklyn!
08/29/2013 - 13:48
Audrey Korelstein
Head to Brooklyn for a high holiday service designed with people who have disabilities in mind.
Head to Brooklyn for a high holiday service designed with people who have disabilities in mind.

East Midwood Jewish Center’s High Holy Days schedule of services and events grows this year with the addition of a new service sensitive to persons with a variety of needs. Their Sunday, September 8th service is between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, from 11:00 to noon. Cantor Sam Levine, with the assistance of friends from the EMJC community, will lead a lively and engaging service of prayer, Torah, song, story, music-making, and shofar blowing in a supportive atmosphere full of holiday joy.

The service has been designed to be as accessible and inclusive as possible.  Greeters and escorts will assist visitors as needed. The building has an elevator. Persons with wheelchairs will be able to easily sit among everyone else (no pews).  Prayers and songs will be ASL-interpreted; a large display board will allow participants to easily understand and track the parts of the service.

There will be no bima; participants will be encouraged to enjoy a service that is comfortably close. Cantor Levine will blend explanation with prayer and song, and will lead a Torah procession with the help of well-known musician and EMJC member, Ben Lapidus.  Songs and a short Torah story will be easily interactive.

There’s a small booklet to help participants prepare in advance for the visit to EMJC and the service. This social story is available on the EMJC website,  With enough lead time, a print copy can also be obtained.

The service is for all ages and everyone is welcome. RSVP strongly encouraged. The service has been designed by Audrey Korelstein, EMJC’s Director of Youth and Family Learning, and Cantor Levine. 

A reception follows the service and will of course include apples and honey as well as other nut-free holiday treats.

For questions, to arrange a copy of the social story, and/or to RSVP, contact or phone 718.285.0405 and leave a voice message.

East Midwood Jewish Center is at 1625 Ocean Avenue, Brooklyn, between Aves. K and L.


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Well, the disability – sensibility service in Brooklyn is truly a great initiative. The people who has organized such amazing thing must be appreciated.

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This is wonderful! Also, one in ten people who have hearing loss do not speak American Sign Language and need communication access via captioning, not American Sigh Language interpreters. Visit or Hearing Loss Assn of America to discover more.

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