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Upcoming Events

Disability and Inclusion Shabbat Weekend

Friday, February 2 - Sunday, February 4
Agudas Achim's Disability Inclusion Committee invites you to join Agudas Achim for our 7th annual Disability and Inclusion Shabbat. This year, we are bringing awareness and attention to neurodivergent issues within the Jewish community.
 
On Friday night, an Agudas Achim member with neurodiversity will be our Kabbalat Shabbat speaker. On Saturday morning, Rachel Hamberger, PhD., who grew up at Agudas Achim Congregation, will discuss characteristics, education, and lifestyles of neurodiverse individuals, with a special emphasis on education. Rachel teaches preschoolers, who have been diagnosed with autism, in the Anne Arundel Public School district. A panel discussion will follow services and Kiddush.
 
Our sanctuary is equipped with a T-Coil for those who are hard-of-hearing and wear hearing aids; for those that do not wear hearing aids, but require assistance to hear, assisted listening devices are available and can be found on our Inclusion Cart, located at the doors to the sanctuary.
 
Phones and tablets may be used to activate speech to text apps.
 

ReelAbilities Film Festival - Okay!: The ASD Band Film

Sunday, February 4 | 4 p.m. at Beth El Hebrew Congregation

Agudas Achim's Disability Inclusion Committee is partnering for the fifth time with Beth El Hebrew Congregation's Disability Inclusion Committee and Brotherhood for the ReelAbilities Film Festival which is presented through the auspices of the Pozez Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia. This year's 86 minute, award-winning documentary is OKAY!: The ASD Band Film, which relays the story of four talented autistic musicians whose shared love of music brings them together.
 
Rawan, Jackson, Spenser, and Ron form the ASD band and shatter stereotypes about people with autism as they navigate a world where they are often misunderstood. The group finds strength in each other and their music as they write, record, and perform their first album. View a trailer here.
 
Melissa Heifetz, Executive Director, The ARC of Northern VA will lead the discussion that follows the film’s screening.
 

Disability Inclusion

   At Agudas Achim we are committed to being a truly inclusive spiritual community. We welcome the participation, leadership, and friendship of all individuals without regard to physical, emotional, cognitive, sensory, or communicative ability.
   The Disability Inclusion Committee is working to further expand inclusion and access at Agudas Achim and we value input and contributions to this effort. If you are interested in being on the committee, want more information about the work of the committee, or would like to be on an email list about activities or events related to Disability Inclusion, please email Committee Co-Chair
Gayle Weiss, or call the synagogue office, 703-998-6460.
 

HOW WE PRACTICE INCLUSION AT AGUDAS ACHIM

  • Our facility is wheelchair accessible, including the bima. The Cohen Sanctuary has wheelchair spaces with designated companion seats.
  • The Cohen Sanctuary and Flax Family Chapel have audio loops (T-Coils); we also offer assistive listening devices for those who would prefer them.
  • Lightweight, large-print mahzorim are available for the High Holy Days; and lightweight, large-print copies of Siddur Lev Shalem and the Etz Hayim Chumash are available for Shabbat.
  • Designation of priority aisle seating for Shabbat services in the Cohen Sanctuary will soon be available for persons with mobility issues.
  • It is the practice at Agudas Achim that we label allergens at all synagogue food events. Individuals with food allergies are permitted to store a small amount of kosher food in the synagogue kitchen for personal consumption while participating in Agudas Achim events. More on food allergy practices can be found here. 
  • When possible, supports and accommodations are provided to children with disabilities in the religious school.
  • A staffed “break” room is available during religious school hours to support students who need space for self calming, sensory regulation, or to de-stress.
 

REQUEST AN ACCOMMODATION

   To request an accommodation at Agudas Achim, please fill out the Agudas Achim Disability Inclusion Questionnaire, available in a paper copy from the office, or contact the Disability Inclusion Committee for a confidential conversation.

MORE INFORMATION ON INCLUSION

EVENTS

Jewish Disability and Inclusion Awareness Month | February

Sun, April 14 2024 6 Nisan 5784