Large Enough to Serve You
Small Enough to Know You

Inclusion Initiative

The purpose of our Inclusion Initiative is to continuously examine all aspects of synagogue functioning.  We then either work directly to support individuals who face special challenges or guide the various leaders and committee chairs to take effective action in overcoming barriers to participation.  This effort allows members and their families to more fully and comfortably engage in congregational life.

In 2015, Congregation Beth Torah was selected as one of 16 congregations in North America to participate in the United Synagogue for Conservative Judaism Ruderman Inclusion Action Community, a partnership of United Synagogue for Conservative Judaism and the Ruderman Family Foundation. This is a highly prized recognition and honor as CBT is now in an international position of leadership.

There is now an Inclusion Fund to which you are invited to donate. These funds are solely devoted to items that address the purpose of this initiative. Please indicate when you send in your donation that the intent is to support the Inclusion Initiative. We thank you for your generosity.

Committee members are Zelene Lovitt (chair), Esther Cohen, Fern Gerstein, Rachel Leventon, Susan Shapiro, Jeff Silver, Francine Simpson, and Joy Weinstein.



  • support for those who love addicts   972-407-4420
  • Grant Halliburton Foundation  972-744-9790 – Provides information, support groups for moms and dads
  • Jewish Family Services (JFS) 972-437-9950 –   Addiction Counseling, evaluation, group support

Auditory /Visual challenges

  • Deaf Action Center     214-521-0407 – Advocacy/Law, Hearing Loss Support, Specialized Telecomunications Assistance Program (STAP)
  • Starkey Hearing Foundation – Provides reprogrammed hearing aids at no or reduced charge
  • Hearing Aid Recycling Program (HARP) at the Callier Center 214-905-3055
  • Dallas Hearing Foundation – Gives financial assistance based on a sliding scale
  • Lions Affordable Hearing Aid Project (AHAP) – Offers free or reduced-rate hearing tests and three types of low-cost or no-cost hearing aids based on financial need.
  • Richland Community College – offers classes in dealing with hard of hearing issues.
  • Dallas Lighthouse for the Blind 214-821-2375 – Free services for senior citizens who are blind or visually impaired

Housing for independent living

  • Association for Independent Living (AFIL) 214-351-0798 – Prepares young adults with a medical diagnosis of an intellectual and developmental disability to live independently
  • Community for Permanent Supported Housing (CPSH) – Addresses life skills to increase services and housing options for adults living with intellectual/developmental disabilities
  • Community Housing for Adults, Inc (CHAI) 214-373-8600 – Provides group homes for people with cognitive difficulties providing housing, vocational, educational, social and spiritual programming.

Learning differences

  • Association for Neurologically Impaired Children (AFNIC) 972-264-7983
    • Train parents and schools on how to create an accessible environment for neurologically impaired children
    • Provide advocacy services at ARD meetings.
    • Support navigation of the Special Education system by providing information and advice.

Memory loss

  • Alzheimer’s Association  – This site describes symptoms & resources
  • Brain Teasers –  Provides brain teasers, puzzles, riddles, games, and optical illusions
  • Puzzles – Contains fun on-line jigsaw puzzles with the average time it takes to assemble and the fastest record assembled.

Support Groups

  • Grant Halliburton Foundation Coffee Days – The first day of every month, Women Here (where) meet to share experiences, information, and resources for teens and young adult mental health
  • Jewish Family Services   972-437-9950
    • Breast Cancer Support (women) various groups and times
    • Caregivers—regarding Alzheimer’s or other conditions requiring long-term care. Third Wednesday of ever month at 6:45 pm
    • Caregivers at Legacy Willow Bend–for all family caregivers. Third Tuesday of the month at 6:30 p.m.
    • Chronic Pain—first Wednesday of each month at 7:15
    • Social Skills for Teen Boys with Special Needs—supports emotional or psychological special needs while focusing on making and keeping friendships and appropriate social interactions
    • Social Skills for Teen Girls with Special Needs– supports emotional or psychological special needs while focusing on making and keeping friendships and appropriate social interactions

Federal/State/Local Support