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Being an Inclusive Community

Shaarei Shamayim strives to be an inclusive Jewish community. We invite people of varied backgrounds to join us. We recognize the diversity of our community, including, but not limited to race, ethnicity, age, national origin, assigned sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, religious identity, cultural identity, physical ability, mental ability, and socioeconomic status.

To that end, we are seeking to increase belonging across our synagogue community and want to give our members and guests the opportunity to share with us when we've fallen short.

That said, if you have had an experience in our CSS community which doesn't reflect our inclusive values, feel free to share your thoughts on our newly developed DEI Concern Form. This form sends information directly and solely to Stormy-Kito Aliyah Justice, Co-Chair of the CSS Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) committee. Stormy-Kito will reach out to you directly if requested.

Depending on your concern, you may also consider reaching out to the chair of the Rabbi Liaison Committee, whose members communicate feedback to our rabbi about her work with the congregation.

Thank you for helping us to ensure that our entire community feels valued, safe and heard.

--CSS Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee

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 Gesher and Kesher programs, 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 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.

Tue, November 28 2023 15 Kislev 5784