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Give Jewish disabled a better deal

Last updated: 2003-09-24

SomethingJewish says it is time to give disabled people a better deal when going to synagogue

24 September 2003 - A Jewish web site is campaigning for better treatment of disabled people who want to go to synagogue. According to SomethingJewish (www.somethingjewish.co.uk) editor and co-founder Leslie Bunder, many synagogues across the UK are failing to provide facilities for disabled people.

As Jewish people prepare for the Jewish New Year, some members of the community will once again be denied the chance to take part because they have limited or no mobility.

In his latest column, Bunder writes: "For some, going to synagogue for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur will once again be a difficult or impossible task. It is not that they can't afford it, it is they may have limited or no mobility. And yet again, synagogues, by not providing facilities to those who have mobility problems are being treated as second class citizens."

Bunder added: "Even those who have disabled access, then do not provide toilet facilities to those who need it. So while you might be warmly welcomed, heaven help you if you then need to go to the toilet at some point during your time at the synagogue. It really is not acceptable in this day and age for synagogue buildings not to offer disabled access and toilets at the same time."

Bunder says he was shocked to discover that advertisements placed in the Jewish media by many of the UK's synagogues showed that the vast majority failed to offer disabled facilities.

"By not providing facilities, the various synagogue movements are being totally ignorant to the needs of their members. They should realise and understand that for many people going to shul is not a pleasure, it is a difficult and impossible task. These people want to take part in ommunal activities but cannot. They want to pray and reflect in a holy place but are unable to so," he added.

SomethingJewish is taking comments and opinions from the Jewish community which it is planning to present later this year to synagogue groups in the hope that they will start to fully address the needs of all people.

The full version of the column can be found by clicking here.

About SomethingJewish

jewish.co.uk was founded by Leslie Bunder and his wife Caroline Westbrook. When jewish.co.uk was first created, Bunder was working full-time in the media.

Eventually in late 2002, he decided that in order to grow jewish.co.uk to its true potential he would need to be dedicated to the task and spend much more time and energy in building up jewish.co.uk.

In early 2003, Bunder started JMT Ventures with co-founder Eamonn Ozerovitch with a vision to unite Jewish people through online, print and other related media. Through their web sites, they aim to inspire, educate and inform Jewish people of their cultural identity and the richness of it.

SomethingJewish also forms part of the JMT Ventures network of Jewish sites which include Jewish.net and JewishReunion.co.uk.


For more information:

Leslie Bunder - tel: 07976 220273
e-mail: leslie@somethingjewish.co.uk