Every holiday should be inclusive, but some lend themselves more naturally toward being inclusive than others. Sukkot is one of those.
Lisa Friedman is the education co-director at Temple Beth-El in Hillsborough, New Jersey. This position includes overseeing an extensive Special Needs program within the Religious School designed to help students successfully learn Hebrew, learn about their Jewish heritage and feel connected to their Jewish community. Lisa also consults with congregations to develop inclusive practices for staff, clergy, and families through dialogue, interactive workshops and awareness training. She blogs at Removing the Stumbling Block.
Working with teens is a highlight of my work as a Jewish educator. This year, our confirmation class served as a powerful example of our community’s commitment to inclusion.
In Judaism, intention (kavanah) is most often discussed in relation to prayer. From the Hebrew root meaning to direct, intend, or focus, kavanah can be thought of as the way in which one opens his or her heart to God.
As Jewish leaders, we are looked to as teachers, guides, mentors, advisers, counselors, and confidantes. People trust us; with their questions, with their challenges, with their significant moments, with their children and other cherished family members, with