Sign In Forgot Password

Universal Design

To enable members and guests of all abilities to partake in Jewish life, our architect consulted with the Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access at the University at Buffalo. Our building was built to implement practices of Universal Design, features of which are explained at this link.

On February 4, 2024, Temple Beth Tzedek was recognized as the world's first sacred space built in compliance with the principles of Universal Design.

Our member, Ed Steinfeld, Director, Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access at the University at Buffalo; and Krista Macy, Designer at the Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access

“Some examples of Universal Design include the signs throughout the Temple being in both English and Hebrew,” Steinfeld said. “We have a reading desk that can be adjusted in height without the use of electricity, so it can be used on the Shabbat."

Other Universal Design features at the Temple include:

  •  An adjustable reading table, located on an altar that is not raised and that has sufficient clear floor space on all sides to allow easy access for all people.
  •  A variety of seating options in the sanctuary, as well as available floor space for wheeled mobility device parking.
  •  Restrooms with child and adult changing tables, a self-retracting stepstool and a toddler seat with securement, and an all-gender bathroom for the LGBTQ+ members of the synagogue.
  •  A step-free design for accessibility.
  •  A consistent, interior signage system that features high-contrast, raised lettering and Braille, as well as indications in both English and Hebrew.
  • Specific attention given to the cultural appropriateness goal of Universal Design (e.g., both electric hand driers and manual paper towel dispensers in the restrooms).

Buffalo News story, 2/12/2024

Facebook coverage

Instagram coverage

Thanks to Ezra Rich for most of the data on this page.

Sun, June 23 2024 17 Sivan 5784