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Bimah and Mechitza Redesign

In Summer 2021, Ramath Orah began an effort to improve the accessibility of our sanctuary; the room layout at the time did not make it possible for a person using a wheelchair to access our center bimah. In Phase 1 of our redesign, we added ramps to the front of the sanctuary, expanded the size of the center bimah, and installed temporary railings while the bimah design was completed. 

The new bimah will be dedicated to the memory of Shama Berman z”l, who for many years was a beloved and dedicated member of our community, and who inspired us to undertake this project to ensure that individuals who use wheelchairs can have better access to the sanctuary and to the bimah in particular.

Update December 2022!

Construction has proceeded in Phase 2 of our efforts! We've replaced the temporary railings with final ones and installed new panels around the perimeter of the center bimah. The new design has significantly improved the visibility of the center bimah from the women's side of the mechitzah, particularly for attendees who are shorter or who use a wheelchair. 

We are now in a period of fundraising needed to support this project. We are seeking to raise $125,000 not only to support the construction of the bimah and mechitzah but also to support additional critical changes to the infrastructure aimed to improve accessibility for all. These include a new shulchan and bench, improvements in our lighting design, hiring a sound engineer, and constructing a permanent outdoor concrete ramp.

These improvements aim toward a single goal: to continue to make our sanctuary a more inclusive place for all. Excess funds, if our fundraising efforts are successful, will go to support other important infrastructure improvements aimed toward continued improvements to our accessibility.

Please give generously!

 

You may bill this amount to your account or send payment separately to our office. Contributions are fully tax deductible as permitted by law. Ramath Orah also accepts contributions of securities as well as gifts made through donor advised funds.
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A concept sketch of the bimah and mechitza appears below, with more detailed architectural renderings at this link.

The bimah's redesign is dedicated to the memory of Shama Berman, z"l, son of Rabbi Saul and Shellee Berman. Shama was an integral part of the Ramath Orah community for many decades, and often led davening. The bimah in its prior form prevented individuals from being able to ascend to it, which is why we have undertaken this redesign effort in his memory. 

 

Bimah concept sketch

Sun, June 23 2024 17 Sivan 5784