Interviewing a Synagogue

A questionnaire to help you decide on a shul to attend

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  1. Is the facility accessible to persons of all physical abilities?  Are there ramps in and out of the building, elevators to all floors, and a variety of seating options?  Is there reserved seating for care-givers at holidays, too? 
  1. Is the bimah (stage-like area housing the Torah in its ark, from which services are often led) accessible by those using wheelchairs or walkers? 
  1. Is there plenty of handicapped parking set aside?
  1. Are arrangements available for the education of children and teens with learning and/or developmental disabilities?  Are they included within the synagogue's school(s)?  How are they trained for bar/bat mitzvah services?

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Rabbi Rachel Miller Solomin is an educator living and working in the San Francisco Bay Area. She was ordained from the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies of the University of Judaism (now American Jewish University) in 2001.