We aspire to be an inclusive congregation, where all are welcome. We honor human dignity and treat every person with full respect. This defines who we are and it is based on the core Jewish teaching that each person is a Tzelem Elohim, an image of God. We seek to ensure our congregational tent is spread wide enough to include the many faces and features of our Jewish family, and that our practices match our aspirations:
Gender: In the early 1980’s, Northern Hills was the first Conservative Jewish Congregation in Cincinnati to embrace egalitarian practices, with both men and women counted as equal member of minyanim and equally eligible to lead religious services.
Physical Abilities: We take great pride in the design and operation of our building to ensure that it is fully accessible. We continue to learn how to increase the building’s accessibility and use these insights to make additional improvements. Our bima was designed with two ramps for those unable to climb the two steps up. And to accommodate members of our congregation with hearing loss, we have recently upgraded to a new improved Hearing System. (Click here to learn more about the technology)
Learning Characteristics: Each one of us is gifted in his or her own way. We create tailored learning programs in the Spark School, our Hebrew school, to ensure all students have the opportunity to learn.
Cultural Background: The face of the Jewish family is very diverse. Not all Jews are descended from Central and Eastern European Jews. Besides Ashkenazim, our congregation includes Jews from the Mediterranean, Africa, Asia, and Latin America; Sephardim, “Oriental” Jews, and converts to Judaism. We recognize the varied heritages of all of them.
Religious Background: Many people who join our congregation had Reform, Reconstructionist or Orthodox upbringings. They find our Conservative services meaningful, participatory and providing spiritual growth. The congregation includes many Jews by Choice. Some have become Jewish under our Rabbi's supervision, and some have become Jewish elsewhere. Any questions about our services and practices can be addressed by speaking to the Rabbi, the lay volunteers who lead our services, or the officers of the congregation.
Religious Observance: Our congregational practices represent the mainstream of Conservative Judaism. However, individual members of the congregation are scattered on a wide spectrum of observance, traditional or not.
Family Composition: Our congregation has devoted itself to taking into consideration the needs of religiously mixed families, trying to make all family members feel welcome at activities. Please see the section on Keruv on this web site.
Sexual Orientation: We want everyone to feel comfortable in our congregation, including gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, and transgender individuals. Northern Hills Synagogue is a place where everyone is welcome to worship, lead services, and become involved. Acceptance is a moral claim of Judaism. We believe this and strive to put it into practice.
Financial Situation: We are firmly committed to welcoming all who want to be part of our community, whatever their financial resources might be. We are always ready to make appropriate arrangements to match members’ means.