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Exploring inclusivity at Sinai

Sinai Synagogue Leeds hosted a workshop on the theme of inclusivity led by Jo Richler of The Judith Trust. Organiser Gwynneth Lewis, Sinai’s Director of Education, said: “It was planned to coincide with the Jewish Disability Awareness Month, about which Rabbi Hugenholtz spoke during her sermon on Saturday. I was very pleased to welcome Jo to speak to representatives of many of Sinai’s groups, including the wardens, security, membership and welfare. She will be coming back to lead a workshop with our Religion School staff.”

Rabbi Esther Hugenholtz added: “The importance of inclusivity in our communities cannot be over-emphasised, whether someone is a wheelchair user, or has compromised hearing, sight, or mental health treatment use generic valium and they should be welcomed. The fact that there is a Jewish organization devoted to this holy work is a testament that ‘na’aseh v’nishmah’ echoes across the generations: the sacred call of a true covenant, where inclusivity and dignity are paramount.”

Jo Richler, Policy Manager and Inclusion Campaign Coordinator for the Judith Trust, said: “The Judith Trust was set up in 1997 by the brother and sister of Judith Lawrence, who is now in her 70s. We focus on the problems faced by people who have both a learning disability and mental ill-health. We are happy to lead awareness workshops for Jewish organisations. Our major campaign currently is the Inclusion Campaign, which works with synagogues and other Jewish organisations to promote the inclusion of people with learning disabilities and/or mental ill-health, and their families and carers, in whatever aspects of Jewish community life they choose.”

The Judith Trust offer free resources on inclusion. Visit their website for more information or phone 020 7266 1073.

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