Our mission is to cultivate and sustain an inclusive environment in which all current and prospective members of the Rodeph Sholom Synagogue and School communities feel welcome and embraced, regardless of their attributes including but not limited to race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, disability, age, sexual orientation and gender identity. With respect to religious diversity, we welcome all people who seek a connection to Jewish life, we value non-Jewish individuals who are part of our community and we encourage their involvement.
The Inclusion Committee reaches across CRS to ensure that every aspect reflects the different family structures and backgrounds of our diverse community. Throughout the year, we review by-laws, policies, programs and communications to ensure the consistency of our message and actions.
Our inclusion efforts support many existing programs within the synagogue as well as the creation of new activities, events and programming. We advocate for the interests of our diverse community to ensure that the varying needs of our members are woven into all aspects of synagogue life.
“As your rabbi, my hope is that all of us, clergy and congregation alike, will do everything we can to embrace those who have stepped forward and shown a willingness to make Congregation Rodeph Sholom their spiritual home.…” Click here to read the full Chronicle article from Rabbi Robert N. Levine, September 2007.
“…We take pride in welcoming everyone who comes in, of every ethnicity and sexual orientation and demographic. But we are only now learning ways to talk about difference, ways to meet different needs; we are only now realizing that treating everyone the same is not necessarily welcoming….” Click here to read Rabbi Lisa J. Gruschow’s sermon on Yom Kippur 5768.
In 2007 we formed The Parents InterCircle as a learning and support resource for non-Jewish parents raising Jewish children. For the first three years we developed a network of adults and scheduled regular meetings. From discussions about how to create a Passover Seder that is reflective of your family, to providing resources for Bar or Bat Mitzvah services (see guide below), transliteration and song tunes for Shabbat and holiday liturgies, lifecycle events and more, to simply connecting over coffee for camaraderie and conversation, the Parents InterCircle has become a presence in our community. In response to the needs and schedules of our families, we have focused our efforts on developing an on-line library of resources. Our network of congregants is available as an accessible source for information and dialogue. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for questions or more information.
Click here for a Bat/Bar Mitvah Guide to Congregation Rodeph Sholom Shabbat services.
“We had already come to the decision that we would raise our children Jewish before we had children, but as a non-Jewish parent, I knew we needed help to do it the way I wanted…” Click here to read the full testimonial from our member, Amy Lipin.
“Community is an overused word in today’s parlance, but Rodeph Sholom has become our community. Our family feels very much at home here, thanks to the ties that bind anyone to a place like Rodeph Sholom: the people. And our children have embraced their heritage in a nurturing place. They are fond of saying, ‘we’re half-Asian and 100% Jewish!’ …” Click here to read an article from our member, JuJu Chang.
For additional resources, please visit our inclusion resources page.