Being an Inclusive Community

Shaarei Shamayim strives to be an inclusive community. We invite people of varied Jewish backgrounds to join us. We value the participation of singles, families, twenty- and thirty-somethings, and empty-nesters. We are LBGTQ and interfaith inclusive, strive to accommodate people with disabilities, and welcome Jews-by-choice and Jews of color.

Here are our some other ways in which we are creating inclusivity at Shaarei Shamayim:

Accessible Space
All of our services, as well as our Bet Sefer program, are held in spaces that are wheelchair accessible. We do have Friday night potlucks in people's homes, which may or may not be accessible. We try to accommodate people as best as possible, while also preserving the value of hosting others in our homes.

Disability Inclusion Coordinator
If you or your child has a disability and would like to request an accommodation at services, programs, or in our school, feel free to contact Jeff Spitzer-Resnick, Shaarei Shamayim's Disability Inclusion Coordinator, at president@shamayim.org or 206-7164.

Fragrance-Free Environment
Shaarei Shamayim is moving toward becoming a fragrance-free environment. Some people in our community become ill when exposed to manufactured fragrances such as those contained in personal care and laundry products. While many people may have some reaction, some people experience severe reactions including migraines, blurred vision, nausea, muscle and joint pain, difficulty breathing, and seizures. Making our space fragrance-free is one more way to act from our values of inclusion.

Fragrance-free means arriving with no fragrance on your body, hair or clothes. Some products that contain fragrance may not smell strongly to you, but even mild fragrances can cause severe problems to those of our members who are highly sensitive to manufactured fragrances. Products that may contain fragrances include perfume, cologne, shampoo and other hair items, soap, lotion, aftershave, sunscreen, bug repellent, deodorant, makeup, laundry detergent and drier sheets. Almost all of these products are available in fragrance-free varieties, including deodorant (but not perfume or cologne). Please respect our wishes and come to our services fragrance free so all can fully enjoy our holy space and time together.