Tzohar leads effort to make synagogues more accessible

In honor of International Person with Disability Day, the Zionist Orthodox organization promotes Accessibility Shabbat

Jessica Steinberg covers the Sabra scene from south to north and back to the center.

Tzohar, the organization of Zionist Orthodox rabbis, will mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities this Saturday by making accessibility for the disabled easier to attend synagogue on the Sabbath.

The weekend initiative, known as Accessibility Shabbat, will focus this year on addressing the needs of the visually impaired by calling on congregations to review the physical plans, tools and materials of their synagogues in order to make them more accessible and stimulate conversation about how to facilitate better accessibility.

“There is no disputing that so much more can be done — whether it’s renovating facilities for better handicapped access, ensuring that Braille texts be available to all who need them, or equipping buildings for the hearing impaired,” said Rabbi Yuval Cherlow, chair of the Tzohar ethics committee.

“We know that if we commit ourselves to change this can be a true source of pride for the Jewish world,” he said.

Tzohar also recommends that all religious institutions dedicate a percentage of their operating budget to better address issues of accessibility.

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