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"When a stranger resides with you in your land, you shall not wrong him. The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as one of your citizens; you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I the Lord am your God."

     — Leviticus 19:33-34 


These instructions from the Torah remind us that we have all been “strangers” in one way or another and demand that we draw on this experience to develop radical empathy for people who feel marginalized. Our congregation includes the voices and faces of Jews, families, and friends of all backgrounds and from all places — geographically, emotionally, and spiritually. We embrace our diversity in experience, opinion, and religious observance even as we come together for study, prayer, work, and dialogue. Among our ranks are people of color, people of differing abilities, members of the LGBTQ+ community, single-parent families, multi-heritage families, and blended families. We strive to continuously include, recognizing that the project of inclusion is always evolving and incomplete and requires openness and humility.  

disability accommodation

Every congregant, regardless of physical, mental, socio-emotional, or learning ability, has the right to participate meaningfully in sacred community, including leadership. Our tradition is clear on this — it compels us to dismantle barriers of attitude, knowledge, and architecture to recognize the Divine Presence that dwells with, and within, each of us.

  • Most prayer services and learning programs are broadcast or ‘Zoomed’ for home and distance viewing so that everyone can participate, no matter where they are.

  • Assistive listening devices, large-print prayer books, and a magnifying glass are available for borrowing outside the Sanctuary — just speak with an usher/greeter to request them. There is also designated Sanctuary seating for individuals who are sensitive to fragrances or who are immunocompromised.

  • A passenger elevator in The Alice & Daniel Satisky Education Building creates access to Naomi & Ken Kramer Religious School, Beth Meyer Preschool, and our mikveh. Our Sanctuary and bimah (raised platform) are accessible to individuals with mobility challenges.

  • Beth Meyer Preschool collaborates with itinerant special educators, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech and language pathologists, and professionals to ensure that every child has access to the supports that they need to succeed.

  • Naomi & Ken Kramer Religious School teachers and madrichim (teaching assistants) are specially trained to use differentiated instruction and visual supports to engage children with diverse learning and behavioral profiles. Our B-Mitzvah team — Rabbi Eric Solomon, Rabbi Jenny Solomon, Cathy Kaplan, and tutors — adapts and customizes B-mitzvah so that every Jewish teen experiences a meaningful spiritual coming-of-age.

  • Beth Meyer Synagogue follows an allergy policy (pages 11-12) to protect and include individuals with food allergies and sensitivities. Our practices include labeling major allergens, supplying allergen-free food alternatives, and separating serving and eating utensils.

Affirming Gender Diversity

Transgender, non-binary, and gender-nonconforming community members belong and are valued here. Rather than erase gender from our spaces and our practice, our shul follows an affirming and expansive approach to make room for individuals to identify, and be seen, and celebrated, as they are. On February 20, 2018, our Board of Trustees enacted the following Policy on Transgender Inclusion in Worship:

  • Jews may adopt for themselves and their children a Hebrew name which contains their preferred gender marker (e.g., ben [son of], bat [daughter of], mibeit [of the house of], and this name will be used on official documents and when they are called to the Torah.

  • Congregants may choose pronouns to express their gender identity, and we will adhere to them in all settings and communications to convey respect and validation.

  • Though Hebrew is a gendered language, Beth Meyer Synagogue uses the term B-Mitzvah as a gender-neutral way to refer to the ceremony of Bar and Bat Mitzvah.

  • Signage directs visitors to non-gendered, single occupancy restrooms on the lower level of the Main Building.

lgbtq+ Support

Beth Meyer Synagogue honors the holiness and dignity of LGBTQ+ individuals, couples, and families — this is a safe place to be who you are. We are dually committed to being a spiritual refuge and source of healing for victims of homophobia and a champion of LGBTQ+ inclusion in North Carolina. Read our Board of Trustees' policy statements in support of LGBTQ+ rights and equality and nondiscrimination in our state laws.

  • Following guidance from Rabbinical Assembly’s Committee of Jewish Law and Standards, Rabbi Eric and Rabbi Jenny officiate same-sex weddings and baby namings for same-sex couples.  

a Jewish+ Congregation*

Ages ago, the prophet Isaiah envisioned that God’s “house [would be] called a house of prayer for all people” (56:7). We understand this to mean that we can co-build kehillah (community) with loved ones who are not Jewish while still centering and celebrating Judaism. Many ‘Beth Meyerniks’ identify with other religions or are non-faith even as they experience and support Jewish life. We choose to honor and support them, wherever they may be on Jewish journeys, whether they intend to convert to Judaism someday — or not — and whether they practice another faith — or not. 

*Read here for an explanation about the origins and philosophy behind Jewish+.

  •  Membership is extended to Jews and their loved ones, spouses and widows/widowers. While all members may be elected to the Board of Trustees, the offices of President and Ritual Committee Chair are restricted to Jews. 

  •  Our tradition recognizes that children born of a Jewish mother and people who convert via mikveh (and circumcision for males) are Jewish halakhically (“under Jewish law).” While Rabbi Eric and Rabbi Jenny are ready to support any congregant who wishes conversion for themselves or their children, we fully respect those who make other choices and treat all children in our community equally. 

  • Certain public ritual practices are restricted to Jewish adults (those who are 13 years or older), not out a spirit of exclusion, but because they represent a public declaration of a personal and collective Jewish identity. Among these are chanting Torah and haftarah and their associated brakhot (blessings), leading a prayer service, lifting and dressing the Sifrei Torah (Torah scrolls), and wearing a tallit (prayer shawl). Every congregant, no matter their religious status or tradition, can accompany a Jew to the bimah (a raised platform) for an aliyah (Torah honor), recite a reading in English, join the Torah procession, or share a d’var torah (word of Torah) with their fellow davenners (pray-ers). 

Sun, June 16 2024 10 Sivan 5784