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Say YES to inclusion

Maci reading the Torah, joined by her sister Carly and her father Marc.

We did it!

“We did it!” Carly exclaimed as Shabbat services were coming to a close on the morning of May 22, 2021. The entire congregation smiled with tremendous joy during Adom Olam at Carly and Maci’s B’not Mitzvah (“b’not” is plural for girls) at Temple Beth El in Rochester, New York. Read more ...
Michael standing with the Torah scrolls in the ark, draped in a tallit and holding a prayer book.

Imperative for inclusion

Michael Newman became a bar mitzvah on December 12, 1987. Today he sits in the seat his father used to sit in at Congregation Beth Sholom in Rochester, New York, carrying on the legacy of their proud, shared Jewish identity. Read more ...
Nicholas with his brother Zachary at their home for the bar mitzvah.

A loving big brother

Nicholas G., who has autism, did not have access to the Jewish education he needed for a bar mitzvah ceremony. As a high school senior, his older brother, Zachary, chose to help Nicholas prepare for his bar mitzvah. Read more ...
Ellie receiving a blessing from her mother Jen, and father Adam.

Creativity is key

Jen and Adam Anolik have two daughters, Ellie and Sarah. Ellie is the oldest and has intellectual disabilities. It was important to Jen and Adam that both of their daughters participate in Jewish life and learning. They really wanted both daughters to feel the same sense of accomplishment from a meaningful and joyful bat mitzvah experience. Read more ...

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How can we help?

Share Stories

We’d love to connect with you and share your story along with highlights of your experience. Sharing inspires others to say YES to participation in a more inclusive Jewish community.

Share Resources

What resources have been most helpful to you? Sharing these resources helps make the b’nai mitzvah experience less difficult for the next family.

Share Ideas

What light bulb moments did you have along the way? Sharing these creative problem-solving ideas helps make the b’nai mitzvah experience less difficult for the next family.