Pandemic leading to better accessibility in faith communities


Moose Enthusiast
Did anyone get a chance to read Rivka Solomon's essay about how the pandemic finally allowed her to become a part of a faith community?

Here are some excerpts:
I have been a member of my synagogue for seven years, and yet until last year my fellow congregants did not know me and I did not know them.

They didn’t know I’m a writer, disability advocate and avid consumer of whoopie pies. They didn’t know I live a stone’s throw from our shul and still am rarely able to get there. And they didn’t know the reason for this: my chronic illness.

I write this essay under the flashing neon sign displayed over all of our lives right now, the one that reads: “The vaccine is here!” A return to post-pandemic normalcy is underway.

This leads me to a strange paradox: The conflict between despising a deadly pandemic and, at the same time, recognizing the gift it has given me. For the first time, I am able to be part of a Jewish community.

As the general population has recently learned, and as homebound people have long known, isolation can be heartbreakingly hard. So imagine how much of a breath of fresh air it has been to join my congregation. Insta-community! Being part of live Jewish gatherings has been good for me and my sometimes socially-starved soul.

Of course I’m thrilled a vaccine is here. I hope life for most healthy folks will soon get back to normal. Thank goodness.

Yet when the rest of the world goes off videoconferencing, those of us who live with health challenges and disabilities may not be able to join back in. Not at our synagogues, churches or mosques. Not at PTA meetings, Thanksgiving dinners or birthday parties.

This past Passover is a good example.

Because of my disability, I’ve missed most Seders. Then this year, to my delight, I attended two, virtually, just like everyone else. At the end of each, the Seder leaders said they hoped we would be together again next year, in person. My heart sank; I guess I’ll be missing those.

Can anyone else relate? Has anyone else been able to become more involved in their faith communities over the last year or so?


Senior Member
i totally relate - (not with the faith community but my local community) and I've made two new online friends in the pandemic because people seem more willing to make effort online, before the pandemic no one had any time for me. Sadly my old friends didn't bother to use the excuse to stay in touch, but glad I made a couple of new ones.

YippeeKi YOW !!

Senior Member
Second star to the right ...
I can't speak to the sense of participation and acceptance by the faith community, but I did feel the same mixed sense of exultation and deflation .... so glad the world can get back to whatever the world decides is important after all this trauma, and then it set in that the rest of the world, unaffected by M.E., would now be moving on again without me .... my daily 'normal' would no longer be ..... normal ....

So 'Hallelujah' and ....

"That sucks !' .....