Jewish Inclusion

A More Welcoming Shul

Program that teaches rabbis the how and why of inclusion poised to grow.
Staff Writer

Many congregants are a bit intimidated by their rabbis — not Shelley Cohen, not when it came to fighting for her son Nate, who suffered from Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a fatal genetic disease.

Rabbinical student Raif Melhado and a study partner make their way through a text on Jewish law and the deaf. Helen Chernikoff

The Limits Of ‘Inclusion’

Special To The Jewish Week

Twelve years ago, my wife and I moved from Manhattan to Harrisburg, Pa., and sought a Jewish community in tune with our liberal, Upper West Side Jewish ethos. We found ourselves living in what was, for a provincial state capital floating in a sea of Evangelical Christianity, a remarkably diverse Jewish neighborhood — our new friends included Reform Jewish lesbians, egalitarian Conservative Jews, non-egalitarian Conservative Jews and Orthodox Jews who eschewed American holidays (including Thanksgiving) as inimical to Jewish tradition.

Ted Merwin
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