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JWeb Accessible Siddur & Resources Pack

Welcome to JWeb’s free online resources which are designed to inspire and support inclusion in synagogues. Our Inclusion Campaign includes a downloadable copy of an Accessible Siddur (printed copies are available to synagogues and community leaders), a film of a model Reform Synagogue Shabbat service and this practical toolkit, packed with ideas and inspiration. 

Our campaign is the result of research and consultation with learning disability professionals, rabbis, parents, carers and people with learning disabilities. Please spread the word by encouraging everyone to take a look.

Let's make our communities more inclusive and bring the joy of Shabbat to everyone with learning disabilities.

Getting Started

Click on the image below to see our Accessible Siddur which you can download for free. From November 2020 you will be able to purchase printed versions of the Siddur for £14.00 plus p&p. Contact us at jweb@jweb.org.uk to order your copy!

You can see the film we made with Finchley Reform Synagogue of a model Shabbat service here.

We have prepared some Service Leaders' sheets for you to use as a visual guide to the order of service. Some congregations laminate these sheets and use a laminated arrow that they can move to show congregants where they are in the service. Have a go yourself!

Congregation Rodeph Sholom have shared their story and resources here: http://shireinu.rodephsholom.org. In particular, do watch their videos on preparations for a service. The resources are for Purim, Passover, Rosh Hashanah and Chanukah but the principles are transferable to Shabbat services.

Read about Mill Hill Synagogue's Shabbat of Inclusivity  and find out about what the Chief Rabbi had to say about this initiative. Take a look at “What Being Inclusive Means” by Gesher School and Norwood and read "18 Ways to be Inclusive in Synagogue" by Mill Hill Shul.

Resources

Gateways provides high quality special education services, expertise and support to enable students with diverse learning needs to succeed in Jewish educational settings and participate meaningfully in Jewish life. Browse and download free Shabbat resources for kids, prepared by Gateways' experienced special education teachers: Shabbat blessings with visual supports, Shabbat file folder activities, and books and social stories for Shabbat. 

Jewish Interactive uses educational technology to create accessible Jewish education. The interactive Shabbat programme contains nine digital modules teach the history of Shabbat and the practical aspects of Shabbat, accompanied by blended learning lesson plans and curriculum. It is available in Sephardi, Ashkenazi, Chabad and Hebrew versions. 

The Union for Reform Judaism, USA has produced a range of resources for the Disability Inclusion Resource Centre.

Respectability has produced a Faith Inclusion Resources pack including a High Holiday Synagogue Toolkit, Synagogue Inclusion Toolkit and links to Jewish Inclusion Webinars. 

The Foundation for people with learning disabilities has produced a toolkit entitled ‘Thinking about Inclusion’.

The Judith Trusts’ Inclusion Handbook is full of ideas and information about why inclusion is important and how to make it happen. 

Norwood’s Shabbat information sheet includes Shabbat blessings with visual aids and some useful resources.

Articles and Blogs

This is an interesting panel discussion on 'Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion' led by Rabbi Friedman from Hampstead Garden Suburb United Synagogue with Rabbi Dovid Cohen (YACHAD), Deborah Gundle (JWeb) and Dr Beverly Jacobson (Norwood):

 

Chabad has some advice for raising awareness and supporting people with disabilities in our communities. 

Read Gesher School’s article in the Jewish Chronicle on how synagogues can be more inclusive to children with autism. 

The New York Jewish week featured the following article on a synagogue in Brooklyn working to include a boy on the autistic spectrum in their cheder

The Ruderman-Chabad Inclusion Initiative offers a range of essays and articles on Jewish disability inclusion. 

Read this article for real-life inspiration on what inclusion could mean for your congregation

Rabbi Konigsburg has written extensively on revitalizing synagogues, and this article on ‘Growing a Synagogue’ has some important ideas for all kinds of inclusion.

Read on for some easy to implement tips to make your services accessible to people with all kinds of disabilities. 

People who have special needs don’t want to be a mitzvah project. They want to be included in the workings of the synagogue.” 

This is a case-study on an inclusive Purim service with transferable ideas for year-round Shabbat services.

This article focuses on what parents can do to help their child attend services at their synagogue. 

Take a look at this video made by Talya who has cerebral palsy, learning disabilities and a severe visual impairment. Talya helps to run the toddler service at her shul, and during lockdown she made a film for her young friends to enjoy at home:


Examples of Inclusion at Synagogues

Finchley Reform Synagogue, London

East London & Essex Liberal Synagogue, London

Temple Shalom, Massachusetts

Congregation Beth El, Washington DC


Music and Song

Find Shabbat morning service prayers at We Sing Together We Stay Together.

Kef Kids have made a short and sweet davening sing-a-long video.

http://www.zemirotdatabase.org is a user-editable online collection of zemirot. You can browse an extensive database of zemirot and liturgy, contribute to the database and add songs.

Download and purchase from a wide collection of Jewish music: https://mostlymusic.com

http://oysongs.com offers a wide selection of contemporary music for services and other Jewish events. Listen to samples, buy mp3s and sheet music. 

https://www.transcontinentalmusic.com/ contains a huge collection of traditional and contemporary sheet music to purchase, much of which is now available as pdfs. 

There is also a wealth of recordings of synagogue music (traditional and contemporary) available to listen to for free on YouTube and Spotify.


Makaton and Sign Language 

The Shema in Makaton Hebrew

Shema Yisrael in Sign Language

Ritualwell signed prayers in Hebrew and ASL

 

Written by: The JWeb Team