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The stone that the builders refused has become the cornerstone.
Psalm 118:22

In 2015, after a year-long communal journey towards becoming more inclusive of people with disabilities, we received a Cornerstone Certification stating that Congregation Beth Jacob is a Jewish home where individuals and families with special needs are welcome and included.

A safe, accepting community does not happen by chance. CBJ has worked hard to ensure that inclusion is both an explicit and implicit value. We strive to see the “tselem elokim“, the image of God, in every person who steps through our doors. We believe in the importance of listening to each other and honoring our differences.

We were excited to be the first synagogue to be certified by Rosh Pina, and are continually striving toward inclusion. We endeavor to welcome and accept every person as they are, and to support one another in striving to become our best selves. Our Religious School employs specialists who are deeply trained to support children with a range of needs, and all of our Preschool and Religious School teachers receive training to be attuned to the needs of neurodiverse children.

Abraham our forefather was a wanderer and a foreigner. Moses stuttered. King David was the 7th son of a shepherd. If our ancient stories have one lesson for us, it is this: out of vulnerability can emerge new strength, and people who are different will create a new tomorrow. As we learn from the Psalms (118:22), “The stone that the builders rejected became the cornerstone,” and in the words of Isaiah the prophet (49:7), “The one who is despised… kings will see him and rise.”

Children’s Story Books on Special Needs

  • Ian’s Walk; A Story About Autism by Laurie Lears
  • Nowhere Hair by Sue Glader
  • Hi, I’m Ben! …And I’ve Got a Secret! by Julie A. Bouwkamp
  • Don’t Call Me Special; A First Look at Disability by Pat Thomas
  • I Don’t Want to Talk About It by Jeanie Franz Ransom
  • Susan Laughs by Jeanne Willis
  • We Go in a Circle by Peggy Perry Anderson
  • Jumping Jenny by Ellen Bari
  • Andy and His Yellow Frisbe by Mary Thompson

Books to Help Understand Special Needs

  • Unwritten Rules of Social Relationships by Dr. Temple Grandin
  • Uniquely Human; A Different Way of Seeing Autism by Barry M. Prizant
  • The Water Giver by Joan Ryan
  • Life Animated by Ron Suskind
Sat, June 22 2024 16 Sivan 5784