Keruv is Inclusion : Keruv is Hebrew for “to draw closer.” 

Keruv’s mission is to assist Beth El Synagogue Center in holding its doors wide open for congregants and visitors to feel welcomed, included, and comfortable. We embrace diversity in its many forms, among them age, gender, color, sexual orientation, interfaith partnerships, and the full spectrum of Jewish background and observance. We welcome those with physical, emotional, or intellectual disabilities. We know that we are enhanced by our diversity and are committed to building our synagogue family together. 

Ongoing Keruv Activities

  • Advocacy – Keruv Committee members are liaisons and advocates for groups in our community with special needs and offers programs and accommodations to enable participation from all members, such as large print prayer books, hearing devices during services, gender-neutral bathrooms, wheelchair accessible seating, and quiet spaces during the High Holidays. 
  • Pride Shabbat – Shabbat service held in June to celebrate our LGBTQ community. 
  • Let’s Talk About It – A warm, social-worker-facilitated support group that meets 4 times annually where members discuss issues related to intermarriage and interdating. 
  • Keruv Korner – Our article in the synagogue Bulletin to share activities, programming and reflections related to the theme of inclusion. Click here to read some articles from the Keruv Korner. 
  • Kulanu Shabbat Experience – A holiday experience based on need and interest to families who have young children with intellectual or autism spectrum disorders that prevent them from engaging in other youth services. 

Join the Keruv Committee

The Keruv Committee is always looking for new members to join our committee and contribute to our work to enhance inclusivity at Beth El. Please contact Carrie Fox at if you are interested in getting involved or if you have suggestions or requests.

Past Keruv Committee Events

We Belong Together: Neurodiversity in the Synagogue – February 8, 2024. Presenter: Michelle Steinhart of Matan ( Presentation and replay available upon request.  

Embracing my Multitudes: At the Intersection of Queerness, Jewishness, and Beyond – June 24, 2023.  Shabbat morning sermon by Rachel Kundstadt for Pride Shabbat. 

Chiaroscuro: The Light and Darkness of My Vision – February 25, 2023. Speaker: our member Judy Schmeidler.

Fostering LGBTQ+ Inclusion – June 25, 2022. Shabbat morning sermon by Corey Friedlander for Pride Shabbat.

The Power of Voice – February 6, 2022. Speaker: Rabbi Lauren Tuchman. Source sheet and replay available upon request.

Jews of Color: A Discussion On Jewish Diversity

Sponsored by the Beth El Keruv Committee, October 21, 2021

Speakers: Heather Miller, Kendell Pinkney

Moderator: Rabbi Zach Sitkin

Replay can be viewed here.

Learn More About Diversity & Inclusion

The Minyan: Jews with Disabilities by Abigail Pogrebin in Tablet Magazine

Matan, offers community consultations, training, workshops and other resources to help Jewish community leaders and educators provide purposeful, enriching and inclusive opportunities for people with disabilities and their families. 

Resources from Jews of Color: A Discussion on Jewish Diversity (October 2021):

The Multitudes by Heather Miller.

I Helped Coin the Term ‘Jews of Color.’ It’s Time for a History Lesson by Shahanna McKinney-Baldon.

Beyond the Count: Perspectives and Lived Experiences of Jews of Color report.

Where Have you Been Since Selma? by Kendell Pinkney.

Negroes Are Anti-Semitic Because They’re Anti-White by James Baldwin.

How Focusing on Diversity and Inclusion Can Save Synagogues by Aimee Close.

Community Resources

Keshet, working for the full acceptance of LGBTQ Jews and their families in Jewish life.

18 Doors, supporting interfaith families exploring Jewish life.

Removing the Stumbling Block, blogging by inclusive Jewish educator Lisa Friedman.

Jewish Multiracial Network, advocating for Jewish diversity in the Jewish community.

Respectability, fights stigmas and advances opportunities so people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of faith communities.

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Westchester, building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.

PFLAG Westchester, aka “The Loft,” offering peer support groups and a monthly, open topic drop-in center for parents, friends, family members, and LGBT people.

Center Lane, a program of Westchester Jewish Community Services, supporting LGBTQ youth (13-21) through fun, relaxed, horizon-expanding, age-appropriate activities.

Eshel, creating community and acceptance for LGBTQ Jews and their families in Orthodox communities.

JQY (Jewish Queer Youth) supports and empowers LGBTQ Jewish youth with a special focus on teens and young adults from Orthodox, Chassidic, and Sephardi/Mizrahi communities. 

From Our Members...

“Beth El has been so inclusive and welcoming to our interfaith family. Our children have been nurtured in this community since Mommy and Me. They are now 10 and 9 and thriving in the Religious School. They think of Beth El as their second home and cannot imagine going anywhere else. For that, we are extremely grateful and thankful to have found this community.”

– Amy O’Malley

“Beth El’s Keruv program has created many life changing special treasures for the Hyman family, and most importantly for Sherri. In particular, the way that the Beth El community lead by our wonderful clergy has embraced and welcomed Sherri as an integral part of the Nigun Halev and Contemplative Services has actually been the catalyst that has brought our family to more actively reengage and reconnect with the Beth El. Anyone who has seen Sherri in the Nigun Halev services has shared the pure joy that Sherri emanates standing alongside our clergy and praying from her heart. You have no idea how many people (over the past year) have come up to us and told us that seeing Sherri’s participation, ruach and love for the Nigun HaLev service has given them pure joy and touched their hearts and souls. This inclusive program at El has enabled the rhythm of the Torah to forever dance with Sherri and our souls.”

Dov Hyman

“We are very thankful to the Keruv committee for organizing such meaningful and thoughtful programs. 

For several years our family has attended the Kulanu services. Each service was organized in a way to encourage participation in whatever way our son felt comfortable, whether it be dancing up in front, sitting with an instrument, or walking around the room in observation. It was evident a lot of thought and research was put into preparing for each unique service. 

I don’t know who benefited most from our participation in the Buddy program on Yom Kippur. We were able to attend the Yizkor service with the peace of mind that our children were being entertained and supervised. Our kids had so much fun with Jason that they didn’t want their time with him to end. They are already looking forward to next year!”

– Alyssa Sherman