Hineinu: Building Jewish Community for People of All Abilities
The Conservative, Orthodox, Reconstructionist and Reform Jewish Movements announced a partnership today called “Hineinu”–an innovative collaboration of the disability professionals from each denomination sharing resources, support and direction in order to increase disability inclusion in our synagogues for people of all abilities. As a part of Hineinu, the four Movements produced a comprehensive Jewish guide to creating inclusive communities.
The word hineinu means “we are here” and is the plural form of the Hebrew word hineni. We hear the word hineni several times throughout our Torah readings. When God calls out to Abraham just before he is about to sacrifice his son Isaac, Abraham responds with “Hineni”, or “here I am” (Genesis, 22:11). When Moses first sees the burning bush and God speaks to him, Moses answers, “Hineni” (Exodus 3:4). Both Abraham and Moses declare their presence by saying hineni.
The Hineinu initiative will help us make our synagogues more inclusive so that people of all abilities can say “I am here.” For more information, browse the Hineinu guide and read the full press release.
Image courtesy of National Center on Health, Physical Activity, and Disability