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The Hebrew Institute of Riverdale is an Orthodox synagogue serving the entire Jewish community by warmly embracing all Jews, regardless of affiliation, commitment, orientation, race, or background.

The Bayit is committed to making our physical space and your experience accessible and welcoming to all. The following is a list of the resources and policies already in place to make your time in our synagogue comfortable. This document is, as we all are, a work in progress. Please contact us at office@thebayit.org with any questions about your specific needs. If you are a member of guest of Beth Aharon, please reach out to them at bethaharon@gmail.com for information about their practices and guidelines. 

Building Access and Facilities

  • All spaces in our building and the backyard playground are accessible via wheelchair or scooter.
  • There is a ramp to access the main entrance, which has a power assist door. (The door mechanism is off on Shabbat and Yom Tov.)
  • There are spaces in the sanctuary and the beit midrash for those who are attending services or events in a wheelchair or scooter.
  • The bimah in the Main Sanctuary has ramp access from both the men’s and women’s sections.
  • Bathrooms all have accessible stalls.
  • The elevator operates in Shabbat mode to make sure all floors are accessible on Shabbat and Yom Tov.
  • Ramps to the playground in the backyard can be reached through the Social Hall in the lower level.
  • A single occupancy restroom is available. Please click here for details.
  • Diaper changing stations are available in all restrooms. 
  • Nursing is welcome anywhere in the building. There is a dedicated nursing room on the lower level. This room is equipped with a glider and sink and an emergency supply of diapers and wipes.

Gender and Bayit Spaces

  • The Bayit offers men's and women's (multiple occupancy) and all-gender (single occupancy) bathrooms (details here). 
  • Our prayer spaces have men’s and women’s sections.  Transgender community members and visitors are invited to sit in the section that best fits their gender identity and expression. 
  • In the spirit of learning and partnership, please reach out to a member of the rabbinic team if further discussion is helpful.

Comfort in the Bayit

  • Members and visitors with hearing difficulties are invited to sit closer to the bimah in the seats where they can see the shaliach tzibbur’s (prayer leader) face. If that section is full, please ask a gabbai or rabbinic team member for assistance.
  • Health aides are welcome to remain with their client in services or wait for their client in the lobby. Chairs are set up under the lobby windows to make this a comfortable option. Non-Jewish aides may use their personal electronic devices in the lobby even on Shabbat or Yom Tov.  Aides are asked to refrain from using their devices in the sanctuary or beit midrash. 
  • Service animals are welcome in all Bayit spaces. Please have your companion wear its vest so it is easily identifiable as a service animal.


  • There are siddurim (prayer books) with large type and in Braille available on the bookshelves in the vestibule. If you cannot locate them, please ask a gabbai or rabbinic team member for assistance.
  • Our shul encourages the use of the Koren Hebrew/English siddur (page number announcements refer to the Koren), and the Artscroll Hebrew/English siddur is available for those who prefer. Siddurim with interlinear translation and transliteration are also available.
  • Fidget toys and noise-lessening headphones are available in the sanctuary vestibule. Please be sure to return them to the basket after use.

To download the policy,  click hereTo read Rav Steven's derashah (8/12/23) introducing this policy, titled, "Our Most Basic Message is Welcome: Living Our Values", click here.

Fri, June 21 2024 15 Sivan 5784