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Open Door Project

The Open Door Project (ODP) was created by the Bnai Israel Congregation (BIC) Board of Directors to serve as a resource for all of our BIC families AND those who are thinking of joining us–families with members who are of a different faith, Jewish LGBTQ+ folks, and Jews of all colors and disabilities, and all ages.  

BIC serves 21st-century families and individuals in the Conservative tradition. We are committed to enhancing and expanding the welcoming culture that has been a hallmark of this congregation.

Contact the office for more information.


“Hospitality is temporary.  Inclusion is permanent.”
--Rabbi Steve Wernick, Former USCJ CEO

How is Bnai Israel Inclusive?

The Open Door Project at Bnai Israel continues to work to enhance and support the inclusiveness of our congregation and ensure that everyone knows that there is a seat at our table, no matter your background or needs. You can see one of our newest efforts as we have begun including a series of logos at the bottom of the BIC website homepage and newsletters. The logos below will let everyone know that BIC provides a comfortable and welcoming home for all individuals. They illustrate the services we provide and the principles that we stand for.

  • Jews of all abilities, backgrounds and ethnicities are welcome to participate in our community and religious life, including interfaith couples and families


  • Inclusion in programs from Tots to Senior Groups
  • Full participation in all ritual activities and synagogue membership
  • Annual Pride Shabbat

  • Wheelchair and walker accessible seats
  • Ramp to Synagogue & Bimah
  • Service animals welcome
  • Internet access to programs, Friday night and Saturday services for those with travel or other limitations

  • Hearing amplification devices available during services

  • Large print Siddurim (prayerbooks), Chumashim (Bibles) in English and Hebrew
  • Large print Machzorim (High Holiday prayerbooks)


Open Door Project News & Events

The Jewish High Holidays

Need a little help understanding why we do what we do during the Jewish High Holy Days?

The Bnai Israel Open Door/Diversity Committee wants you to be prepared with information about this time of Awe and Remembrance. This is such an important part of Jewish yearly religious life and many of us can be a little short on facts or unaware of why we do what we do. For those with family members of different faith backgrounds, this can also be a confusing time, trying to explain centuries old religious and cultural activities and events to folks without Jewish backgrounds. The Open Door Committee is offering you the following websites to check out, to give you information and ideas on how to celebrate the High Holidays in addition to our beautiful synagogue services at Bnai Israel!

The Meaning of Rosh Hashana

Yom Kippur Cheat Sheet

For grandparents and parents, check out Unlocking High Holy Days with Kids Cheat Sheet

L'Shana Tova from all of us to all of you.


B'rukhim Haba'm: Stories of Welcome Exhibit

Open Door Project: An exhibit on the power of a "welcome" BIC's Open Door Project is dedicated to supporting the welcoming traditions of our synagogue and wants you to know about a new multi media exhibit at The City of Raleigh Museum entitled B'rukhim Haba'm: Stories of Welcome. The phrase is Hebrew fro blessed are those who come, or simply welcome. It features the "stories" of 20 local Raleigh Jews, ages 65 and up, who talk about how they felt welcomed or welcomed someone else. The story tellers include local natives and immigrants from as far away as Russia. The exhibit runs through August 31. For more information, go to and click on events.


"Defending LGBTQ+ Rights"

Wednesday, June 29, 2022   Zoom Meeting

Zoom Meeting Click here to register

The Open Doors Project wants to give a shout out "yasher koach!!" to everyone who participated in the WONDERFUL Pride Shabbat BIC shared with Temple Of Israel on June 17th. Folks from both congregations gathered at the Reibman Center for a moving service co-officiated by both Rabbis. June is LGBTQ+ Pride Month to honor the contributions of LGBTQ+ folks and highlight efforts to support equal justice and opportunity. The ODP committee was formed to support diversity and inclusion in our BIC community and the beautiful service was just one of the ways our congregation supports these goals., which supports LGBTQ+ equality in Jewish life, is sponsoring a zoom meeting on June 29 "Defending LGBTQ+ Rights" to discuss legislation being passed in the US, the importance of a Jewish response, and how to take action in response. Check it out on  Defending LGBTQ+ Rights across the Country - Keshet (


Juneteenth 5782 & Racial Justice through a Jewish Lens

Juneteenth, the new Federal holiday, commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. The holiday celebrates June 19, 1865 when Union soldiers brought word of slavery’s end to Galveston, Texas, freeing the last enslaved people after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed. The new Racial Justice Specialist at United Synagogues of Conservative Judaism (USCJ), Gulienne Rollins-Rishon, has written a very interesting article on Juneteenth and racial justice through a Conservative Jewish lens which is featured on the Exploring Judaism website.

Rollins-Rishon is a biracial Ashkenazi and Black American speaker, facilitator and writer. As the granddaughter of German Holocaust survivors and Southern Black Americans, Gulienne uses her own identity to encourage others to explore their relationship with race, religion and culture. In addition to her duties at USCJ, Rollins-Rishon is also Social Justice Project Manager at Rabbinical Assembly and the founder of her own consulting firm specializing in fostering racial dialogue at diverse organizations.

Click here to check out the information about the new Racial Justice Specialist and the resources offered.


You Want To Do WHAT At My Funeral?

Tuesday, May 24, 2022   12:30PM  ET

Join My Jewish Learning for a unique Zoom presentation on Tuesday, May 24 at 12:30PM ET.   "You Want to Do WHAT at my Funeral?" presents Jewish perspectives on end of life planning for families of all faiths. The discussion is aimed at helping families navigate the tricky waters of funeral planning when not everyone is Jewish. Whether you're helping someone through end of life decisions, or you are curious about how families handles these issues, the panel of experts across Jewish denominations will provide you with information that can help.

Go to to find out more and register for the May 24th event.



Tue, October 4 2022 9 Tishrei 5783