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Everyone is welcome at Adas Israel Congregation.

We strive to be a fully inclusive community.  and to remove all barriers to participation. We
define Inclusion as a core Jewish value and make every effort to accommodate everyone. Below
are examples of ways that we accommodate many different types of requests.  

Please email to request accommodations for any of our programs, services, or events.

Inclusion Celebration Month

February 2020

This February will mark the sixth year that the Adas Israel community is celebrating Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month (JDAIM). This is a wonderful continuation of our work in lifting up the value of inclusion and removing barriers to full participation in our congregational life. These programs, presented by the Inclusion Task Force, comprise a unique set of opportunities to look at the progress we have made and to examine areas for improvement. For more information and email to get involved.

Inclusion Celebration Shabbat

Saturday, February 1st, Charles E. Smith Sanctuary

& Post Kiddush Discussion “Do Justice and Pursue Acts of Love and Kindness – From a Disability Perspective”

This year’s guest sermon will be given by Robert “Bobby” Silverstein. Bobby is a nationally-recognized attorney with over 45 years of public policy and advocacy experience. For more than a decade, he served as staff director and chief counsel for the Senate Subcommittee on Disability Policy, chaired by Senator Tom Harkin. Bobby was a behind-the-scenes architect of more than 20 disability-related bills enacted into law including the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, as amended. Currently, Bobby is a principal in the law firm of Powers Pyles Sutter & Verville, PC. He has a federal regulatory and legislative practice in the areas of disability and civil rights. Bobby earned his B.S. in Economics, cum laude, from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania in 1971. He received his J.D. in 1974 from Georgetown University Law Center. Mr. Silverstein is the recipient of more than 15 national awards, including the Distinguished Services Award of the President of the United States for his work on the ADA. Bobby has been inducted into the Public Interest Hall of Fame. Our conversation will continue after Kiddush in the Biran Beit Midrash.

Synagogue Inclusion Network

Sunday, Feb 2nd at 1pm-2:30pm Gewirz Beit Am

The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington convenes a monthly meeting of local inclusion committees. Join us when Adas Israel hosts the group and hear from Lisa Handelman on the topic of Congregations and Employers and Advocates for Employment. Lisa is Federation’s Community Disability Inclusion Specialist. As a community resource and area specialist, Lisa partners with individuals with disabilities, families, and service providers to develop, implement, and monitor opportunities for inclusion of individuals with disabilities into all aspects of Jewish learning and living. Based on the strong belief that disability inclusion strengthens our community, Lisa and Federation’s Disability Inclusion Network have created disability and inclusion online crowdsourcing guides and tools to connect individuals and families with programs, events, and services, and raise awareness and advocate for the rights of individuals with disabilities.

Jewish Disability Advocacy Day (JDAD) on the Hill

Tuesday, Feb 4th at 9am-5pm Capitol Hill: Rayburn House Office Building

JDAD is an opportunity for professionals and lay leaders from Jewish organizations and communities across the nation to come to Capitol Hill to raise awareness of their work and passion relating to individuals with disabilities and their families. Jewish Disability Advocacy Day includes:

  • A symposium on disability and inclusion issues from leading analysts;
  • An advocacy briefing on issues to raise with Congress and training on how to be an effective advocate;
  • Lunch with Congressional leaders; and
  • Advocacy visits with your elected officials.

The day is sponsored by Adas Israel Congregation along with Jewish Disability Network — chaired by the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) and the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism — and other supporting organizations. Join Rabbi Sarah Krinsky, clergy liaison to the Inclusion Task Force, and members of the Inclusion Task Force, for this exciting day of political action and advocacy on Capitol Hill.  To get on the waiting list for this event, please click here.

Acharei Lifnei Ivir: Beyond “Before The Blind”

7pm on Wednesdays Jan 29, Feb 2, 12, 19, 26, March 4
Register Here

Join Rabbi Lauren Tuchman for a 6 part class looking at what Judaism has to say about the role and agency of people with disabilities in the Torah and Talmud. As Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month begins, many of us will be thinking about the place of Jews with disabilities in our communities. This conversation is not new—it has been a part of our tradition from the very beginning. Many of our most foundational values about disability can be found in some famous and some not-so-famous narratives in the Torah and Talmud which involve people we might identify as having disabilities today. In this six-session course, we will do a close reading of a different story each week, first by reading the text and secondly through commentaries on that text, including the texts of our lives. We will be doing a close reading of narratives including but not limited to Jacob’s stealing Esau’s blessing, Leah’s story, and the story of the ugly man in Taanit 20AB in the Babylonian Talmud. We will examine stories in which people with disabilities are not merely subjects but agents in their own lives, often times changing the status quo. What lessons might we take from these narratives today?


Wednesday February 26th 11:30am, Kay Hall Register Here

WellBodies is a monthly program that everyone is welcome to attend. Each month we take a deep dive into a topic connected to the theme of Embodied Judaism. In honor of Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month (JDAIM), we will be joined by Rabbi Lauren Tuchman to learn about disability wisdom through a Jewish perspective. We will do a brief meditation, a text study with Rabbi Tuchman, and an interactive piece as well. Lunch is included.

Spirit Club: Fitness Class for All Abilities

Sunday March 29th 10-11am Gewirz Beit Am

Class Description: The SPIRIT Fitness I class focuses on improving body awareness, balance & stability, flexibility, functional movement, strength, endurance, speed, agility, social opportunities, nutritional habits and overall heathy behaviors. Classes consist of fun and interactive exercises focusing on a specific, fitness-related theme. Throughout the warm-up period, each participant is given a chance to introduce themselves and lead. We then teach and practice the primary circuit of exercises, followed by partner exercises, relay races, and stretching. Different types of fitness equipment such as balls, bands, chairs and rings are incorporated into the program to increase engagement. At the end of each class, all participants are provided with hand-outs that describe exercise instructions, health tips and nutrition tips to encourage healthy living at home.

Trainer Bio: After graduating from the University of Maryland with a BA in Psychology, Jared Ciner received his Personal Trainer certification from NASM, and began working two jobs: one as a Fitness Trainer at a local gym, and the other as a Support Counselor for adults with disabilities, including autism, down syndrome and cerebral palsy. During his time as a support counselor, Jared realized that many of the people he supported had fitness goals (such as losing weight, getting stronger, being able to do daily activities more easily, etc.), but there were no gyms that could accommodate their needs. In 2012, Jared founded SPIRIT Club, a fitness organization that provides specialized programs that accommodate people of ALL abilities including those with physical and developmental disabilities. In 2017 Jared opened up the SPIRIT Club Gym where SPIRIT Club operates in an integrated environment, teaching both group classes and personal training sessions. Today SPIRIT Club works with over 300 individuals on a weekly basis. Jared is both a Certified Personal Trainer (NASM) and is Certified in Behavioral Principles & Strategies I, II, III & IV (DDA).


Parking & Metro information
We are located 1.5 blocks north of the Cleveland Park metro station on the same side of Connecticut Avenue as the station elevator. There are 3 reserved spots in our parking lot for cars with the handicap placard. If you would like to reserve parking without having a placard, please email

Live streaming & Dial-In

M​​​​​any people who are unable to travel to Adas Israel for programs or services participate via live-streaming. Please see for current livestreams or for an archive of recordings. To dial in and listen to services in the Smith Sanctuary over the telephone, call 202-686-8405. There are a limited number of phone lines available, so it’s best to call before the service begins.

Interpretation & Assistive Devices

Hearing loops are available at the front desk and are located outside of each service location.
ASL Interpretation or captioning is provided upon request for any service or event. Please email inclusion@ at least 24 hours in advance. In every service, we have large print copies of the Lev Shalem
siddur for Shabbat and holidays and the Lev Shalem Machzor for High Holidays. We also have a Braille set of
the Sim Shalom Siddur. Please ask an usher for help in finding these books.

Food Allergy Information 
Please email our Food and Beverage Events Manager, with questions about specific allergens. 

Prayer & Program Spaces

The Charles E. Smith Sanctuary has several features to accommodate our community:
Ramps go up to the Bimah on both sides. People in wheelchairs can sit in several aisle locations around the
sanctuary. There are bookstands in the cutouts. There is an elevator to/from the sanctuary from other levels.
The Amud (lectern) on the Bimah can be lowered and raised.

General Building Accessibility Information:
The Quebec Avenue sidewalk in front of the building was repaved in 2016. There is a curb cut in front of the
Quebec Street entrance. Elevators and ramps connect all the rooms in the building. The Biran Beit Midrash and
the lobby restrooms have automatic doors. Mezuzot are at two different heights on all main-level doors.

LGBTQ Inclusion

Everyone is welcome here. Full stop.  There is an all-gender restroom on the main floor which is wheelchair accessible. Additionally, there is an all-gender restroom on the third floor which is not wheelchair accessible.

Flexible Dues

Finances aren’t an obstacle to joining Adas Israel Congregation. Please contact to have a confidential conversation about joining our community.

Low Sensory Accommodations

A Quiet Room can be opened on request by an Adas staff person. There is a basket of noise cancelling headphones in various sizes at the front desk.


Every body is welcome at the Adas Israel Community Mikvah. The preparation room has been recently remodeled and now meets/exceeds ADA standards. An Aquatic Lift is available on request by emailing at least 24 hours in advance of a Mikvah appointment.

Job Training Programs

We have a partnership with Outcomes Service to provide meaningful volunteer opportunities.  Additionally, we purchase sweets for many of our weekly programs from Sunflower Bakery, a training school for bakers with learning differences.

Gan HaYeled Preschool

Our preschool employs a Full Time Developmental Support Coordinator with specialties in Early Detection, Early Intervention and Best Practices in Inclusion.  The preschool has a dedicated Sensory Space to accommodate student needs for self-regulation, maintains a full inventory of assistive technology to support individual student needs,  and collaborates with on-site Speech/Language Pathology, Occupational Therapy and Behavioral Therapy practices.  A professional staff member administers a bi-annual developmental checklist to monitor children's development.

Religious School

Our educational programs take a collaborative approach with families around individualized classroom needs.  Our Assistant Director participated in the 2017-2018 Matan Institute for Education Directors.  Students have access to noise canceling headphones and other technologies and techniques are employed to support individual needs of each student.  Additionally, students learn Hebrew in small learning groups in grades 3-6 with individual support as needed.  

Community Awareness

Adas Israel Congregation celebrates Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month every year in February, in addition to inclusion-themed programs throughout the year.  Our clergy and leadership participate in the annual Jewish Disability Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill.  We are a founding member of the USCJ-Ruderman Family Foundation Inclusion Action Community.  Our Inclusion Task Force meets regularly. To get involved, send an email to

Please email to request accommodations for any of our programs, services, or events.

Mon, November 23 2020 7 Kislev 5781