Finding Our Way Home — Accessibility, Our Relationship With Beth Israel, and This Building

An Update from our September 15th Special Meeting

On September 15th the Board called a special meeting to report on and explore the accessibility challenges we have faced since the stairlift failed a year ago.

As background — we are waiting for word on a major Trillium grant application we submitted in June (with Beth Israel) for an elevator and other accessibility improvements. In the meantime, we expected to propose a small renovation of the study (off the foyer, at the top of the stairs), to open it up quickly into a mini-kitchen and casual meeting space, so we can host coffee hour and more small gatherings upstairs.

But the quotes for that work came in higher than we and Beth Israel were comfortable with moving on quickly — so we have put that idea on hold. The September 15th meeting became more of an update presentation, with Q&A and small group discussions.

Our work on accessibility is, of course, deeply entwined with our ongoing explorations with Beth Israel about whether this building will be our “forever home,” under a new co-management arrangement. One of the most important things we want to hear is what values and priorities this community wants to keep constantly in mind as we navigate these choices.

Here’s a video of what was said about that in our closing circle. What would you add?

Expect more updates soon! There is a new home for this work on our website, in the “Sharing Our Space” item under the News menu.

Our Sept. 15 closing circle: What do you most want the Board to remember as we continue this work?

— Ben Wolfe, on behalf of the Board