Inclusive Chanukah minyan for families with specialized needs

Inclusive Chanukah minyan for families with specialized needs

Makor Care and Services Network and Teaneck’s Congregation Rinat Yisrael host the second annual inclusive minyan for people with specialized needs and their families, friends, and fans. It will be on the seventh day of Chanukah, Sunday, December 25, in Rinat’s beit midrash at 9 a.m. Jeff Braverman will lead the service that is open to everyone at all levels of ability. It will be sensory-sensitive and wheelchair-accessible, and there will be diet-sensitive Chanukah treats as well.

“So many people with specialized needs are excluded from davening with a minyan because they might appear to others to be disruptive, either because of the sounds they make or because they need to walk around a bit, or because they might need a little extra attention,” Dr. Stephen Glicksman said. He’s Makor’s director of clinical innovation and a member of Rinat. “Others may attend shul but haven’t been offered an aliya since their bar mitzvah. There may be families that rarely have the opportunity to daven together. This minyan aims to give everyone, with and without specialized needs, boys and girls, men and women, the opportunity to pray together in a welcoming, accessible, sensory-aware atmosphere.”

Rabbi Chaim Strauchler of Rinat added, “We are excited to join Makor in hosting an inclusive Chanukah minyan for families with specialized needs. We strive to make all our services open to everyone — but we know that a regular service can be challenging. Chanukah is about spreading awareness for the small miracles. There are miracles in each of our lives. We often just need to be helped to see them. May this special davening opportunity help all of us do so just a little more.”

“Last year’s minyan was a great success,” added Dr. Glicksman. “We even had to start moving the mechitzah around to make more space for people. Mr. Braverman’s davening is always beautiful, and we are thrilled to have him back as our baal tefillah. Of course, he is more than willing to share the spotlight, and if anyone has a part of the service they would like to take part in, they should make sure to register so we can plan accordingly.”

Rinat Yisrael is an Orthodox congregation, and it is inclusive in ways it considers to be consonant with halacha.

Registration is preferred but not required. For more information, go to or call Makor at (718) 853-0900.

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