by the Forward

Lisa Grushcow

Temple Emanu-El Beth Sholom | Montreal, Quebec, Canada | 40 years old

Inclusive. Sure, I could say “inspirational,” because she is that, but I was looking for one word to define Rabbi Lisa Grushcow — and that word is “inclusive.” As a newly disabled Jewish woman, I have noticed that most people dismiss the disabled. Rabbi Grushcow made sure that there was a visible ramp in front of the temple for all to see. This is a significant symbol for the disabled Jewish community. My own interactions with Rabbi Grushcow reflect respect and kindness. I attended Rosh Hashanah services during which the rabbi walked through the congregation and able-bodied persons touched the Torah she was carrying. I cannot walk, so she actually bent over other people with the heavy Torah and let me touch it. The rabbi’s gesture was painful to her but my spirit soared. Another time, I attended a lecture about healing the body. She made a point of including my caregiver in the discussion and gave her a seat with the group. Rabbi Grushcow did not have to do any of this but she did because she values inclusivity. We are more than fortunate to have her at Temple Emanu-El-Beth Sholom.

— Romy Shiller

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